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Starks shaping up as Packers' primary RB

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Nov. 23, 2012 @ 12:40 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

It’s starting to look like James Starks is going to get an opportunity to carry the load in the Packers’ ground attack the same way he so impressively did during the team’s Super Bowl run two seasons ago.

That likelihood grew stronger with the disclosure by fellow RB Cedric Benson — who had looked like he was starting to settle into a featured role before suffering a foot injury five games into the season — that he might need surgery on the foot, which had resulted in him being placed on the injured reserve/designated for return list.

Just five days after Benson told the local media he thought he was on track to return to action by mid-December, thus setting the stage for a potentially potent time-share game-plan along with Starks, it would appear the odds that Benson might not return at all this season have all of the sudden grown considerably.

While head coach Mike McCarthy said he regretted virtually shutting down second-year RB Alex Green in the Week 11 win over the Lions in favor of Starks, who bulldozed for 74 yards on 25 carries in that game, all signs still point toward Starks taking on the primary RB role down the stretch.

As for Green, who excelled in a change-of-pace role in the Week 10 win over Arizona (11-53 rushing), look for him to get 5-10 touches per game from here on out, most likely in no-huddle situations.

Also look for continued creative use of multipurpose weapon Randall Cobb in the backfield on a semi-regular basis, as at least the appearance of a ground game that the opposition must acknowledge remains a key to the Green Bay offense operating at peak efficiency.

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