Head coach Mike McCarthy appeared disappointed with the health of his team as the Packers returned to practice on Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, a game which Green Bay can clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory.
“We’re not as healthy a football team as I thought we would be today,” said McCarthy during his press conference.
Running back James Starks, in particular, seems stuck in neutral.
The status of the Packers’ leading rusher with 565 yards on 127 attempts (4.4-yard average) is still up in the air after not practicing Wednesday and won’t on Thursday either.
“He worked out hard yesterday, did not have a positive exam today,” McCarthy said of Starks. “He’ll be examined on Friday.”
Combined with the concussion sustained by Brandon Saine this past Sunday in the game against the Oakland Raiders, the Packers had little depth available at the position at practice on Wednesday and could against Kansas City as well.
McCarthy originally expressed optimism on Monday that Saine would be able to return from his concussion in time for this upcoming Sunday’s game, but Saine did not practice either.
That leaves the Packers with just two healthy running backs at the moment, Ryan Grant and John Kuhn. Whether the Packers would be content to go into a game with just two options at that position remains to be seen.
The Packers reportedly had four running backs in for a workout on Tuesday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, but the team probably doesn’t want to cut a player just for a stopgap replacement.
It’s still possible either Starks, Saine or both will be available for the Kansas City game this weekend, but their health is a development worth watching as the week progresses.