The knee injury that kept James Starks out of Wednesday’s practice is the least of his problems.
Starks is dealing with a death in the family. So not only won’t Starks practice on Thursday, but he’ll be out of town until Saturday, coach Mike McCarthy said on Thursday morning. Will Starks, who felt soreness in his knee following Tuesday’s workout, be ready physically? Perhaps more importantly, will he be ready mentally after missing most of the week’s meetings?
“In respect to James and his family, we’ll answer those questions once we get to that point,” McCarthy said.
With Starks’ availability in question, it will be vitally important for starter Eddie Lacy to play and play effectively on Sunday afternoon against Dallas. Lacy missed the final 20 minutes of the Giants game with an ankle injury. For a second consecutive day, he was listed as limited participation.
“He’s good. That’s what he keeps telling me,” McCarthy said. “He had a good day yesterday. We’ll see what he can do today. We’ll get a better idea where he is, but he went through the rehab and so far, so good.”
During the portion of Thursday's practice that was open to reporters, he went through a ball-security drill. He didn't do much beyond that, he said, with the training staff shutting him down in hopes of preserving him for Sunday.
"That’s what we’re shooting for. Hopefully I’m able to get out there and play," Lacy said, adding later: "It's going to come down to Sunday. I'm going to do everything in my power to be able to put myself in the best position when it's time go out there and play."
All of which means the Packers (3-1) have a heaping helping of uncertainty in the backfield heading into a showdown against the Cowboys (4-1). Lacy and Starks are the only running backs on the roster and neither will be 100 percent. Don Jackson, an undrafted rookie from Nevada, was released just before the start of training camp due to injury and was re-signed to the practice squad after final cuts.
“That’s really what the game plans are for, and frankly Eddie’s health will have a lot to do with what direction we go,” McCarthy said. “He’s a featured player in our offense, just stating the obvious.”
Receiver Randall Cobb and cornerback Damarious Randall were limited for a second consecutive day. Center J.C. Tretter was added to the injury report (back) and was limited. Guard T.J. Lang went from full participation to limited.
For Dallas, receiver Dez Bryant was limited again but is not expected to play. Left tackle Tyron Smith did not practice.
|S Chris Banjo||Hamstring||DNP||DNP|
|WR Randall Cobb||Neck||Limited||Limited|
|TE Jared Cook||Ankle||DNP||DNP|
|RB Eddie Lacy||Ankle||Limited||Limited|
|G T.J. Lang||Hip||Full||Limited|
|CB Damarious Randall||Groin||Limited||Limited|
|CB Sam Shields||Concussion||DNP||DNP|
|RB James Starks||Knee||DNP||DNP|
|C J.C. Tretter||Back||(Not Listed)||Limited|
|K Dan Bailey||Back||Full||Full|
|WR Dez Bryant||Knee||Limited||Limited|
|CB Morris Claiborne||Ankle||Limited||Limited|
|RB Lance Dunbar||Knee||DNP||DNP|
|T Chaz Green||Foot||DNP||DNP|
|DE David Irving||Concussion||DNP||Limited|
|QB Tony Romo||Back||DNP||DNP|
|CB Orlando Scandrick||Hamstring||DNP||DNP|
|LT Tyron Smith||Back||Limited||DNP|
|LB Kyle Wilber||Neck||DNP||DNP|
|WR Terrance Williams||Shoulder||Full||Full|
|TE Jason Witten||Chest||Full||Full|
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.