Day-After McCarthy: Starks Might Be Available

Packers coach Mike McCarthy spoke to reporters on Monday, the day after his team improved to 10-0 by beating Tampa Bay 35-26 and just a few days before facing the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. The headliner: the health of James Starks.

Green Bay Packers running back James Starks has a chance to play against Detroit on Thursday and, in fact, will potentially practice on Tuesday, coach Mike McCarthy said.

"It's better than what it looked. It did not look very good."

Here is what else he had to say as we typed on the fly from the Lambeau Field media auditorium on Monday afternoon:

- Jennings has a knee bruise. McCarthy anticipates Jennings will practice on Tuesday.

- No concern about left tackle about Marshall Newhouse's health, either.

- Health with tight schedule: We knew Tampa Bay would be a hump game, and it was. Detroit's on the same schedule as we are. We feel good about where we are health-wise.

- Last year's game: Detroit's DL outplayed Green Bay's OL. "We're really more focused on this year's tape because they have some different players. That's something we can learn from." Watching matchups and tendencies.

- Decision to practice the injured guys or rest them: "This is a mental week. The challenge is the mental preparation." Will be limited on-the-field time for practice. "I'm not going to lose the game on Tuesday or Wednesday because we practiced too much."

- Punt protection: Not concerned about it, even after close calls the last couple weeks. Likes the continuity on special teams. Rookies have done well with game action.

- Passing yards allowed a concern: I see it the way it is. You look at the tape of all aspects of your team and you correct them move on. Says "fully aware" of statistics but playing winning football. "Trust me, it's corrected." ... "We have to do some things better." Addressing it and working on it.

- Stafford: Playing well and putting up big numbers. Healthy, which he has not been in any of previous matchups against Green Bay. "He's having a heck of a year."

- Running game: I thought it was good. I thought he was good with the ball in his hands. Not only running the ball but the checkdowns. Making people miss, breaking arm tackles. Not 100 percent clean looks.

- Thinks it's an honor to play on Thanksgiving. Always part of family with holiday. this is fifth part of Thanksgiving game. "I think it's an honor and it's special that they'd pick us to play." Advantage for home team but short flight. Players like short weeks. Added bonus is the mini-bye.

- And that's all from here.

Estimated injury report: LT Chad Clifton (hamstring; out); WR Greg Jennings (knee; did not participate); LB Clay Matthews (ankle; limited); LT Marshall Newhouse (knee; did not participate); G Josh Sitton (knee; limited); RB James Starks (knee/ankle; did not participate); LB Frank Zombo (hamstring; limited).

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at

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