Green Bay Packers: Backfield choices narrow with release of James Starks

Dec 3, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 3, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

James Starks was cut by the Green Bay Packers today, Tuesday, Feb. 7.

Though injury-prone throughout his seven years in Green Bay, Starks was re-signed twice. The first time was three years ago when he inked a two-year deal. He was brought back last year on a single-year contract to allow for consistency in the backfield.

He was drafted in the 6th round (193rd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Green Bay Packers running back James Starks. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers running back James Starks. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

You may remember how he helped revitalize a nearly-dead running game his rookie season. He arrived on the scene late, but what an impact he made.

Because he was injured as a rookie, it wasn’t until Week 14 that he was activated and began to provide spunky attitude and production out of the backfield that spurred the Packers’ offense to bigger and better things.

Starks’ 73 yards against the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field in his first game his rookie season helped to entrench him into the Packers backfield through the remainder of the season and the playoffs.

His steady and impressive performances on the road through the playoffs that postseason was highlighted by his 123-yard showing at Philadelphia in the first round.

Starks spent seven seasons in Green Bay during which time he played in 76 games, rushed 618 times for 2,506 yards (4.1-yard average) and scored nine touchdowns.

He rushed only twice for more than 100 yards in a single game.

The first came in Week 2 of the 2013 season when Eddie Lacy was lost to a concussion. In that game against the Redskins at Lambeau Field Starks rushed 20 times for 132 yards and a touchdown.

The other game in which he garnered more than 100 yards came in October 2015 – a 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers.

James Starks in the 2014 Playoff Game against the 49ers. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

James Starks in the 2014 Playoff Game against the 49ers.
Raymond T. Rivard photograph

In that game he rushed 10 times for 112 yards. He scored once – a five yard score on a pass from Aaron Rodgers.

As a running back who has been on the roster for more than half a decade, Starks’ longevity with the team indicated he was liked by the coaching staff. Though he was injured at various times throughout his career, his production was valuable and timely.

His future remains uncertain as he hits the 30-year-old wall. Whether a team picks him up remains to be seen, but his injury history and age may play a role in his future.

We wish Starks the best of luck and recognize him for his many contributions through the years.

The following is Starks’ complete statistical rundown, thanks to profootballreference.com

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