Jan 5, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back James Starks (44) rushes the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. San Francisco 49ers defeat the Green Bay Packers 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks struggling with third down role

While the Green Bay Packers have Eddie Lacy at running back, he can’t be on the field for every play.

Given that, the team plans to include both James Starks and DuJuan Harris in the game plan. However, Starks has been disappointing through the preseason and has struggled with his third down duties. The issues are likely to force Starks on to the field even more than the Green Bay Packers would like until Starks can get back on track.

Eddie Lacy, an underrated receiver, will be a three-down back. If he were to get injured, Starks would assume the primary two-down and short-yardage work, while DuJuan Harris would step in as the third-down back and change-of-pace option

Harris meanwhile has shined in limited action and it’s possible that he could end up taking the backup running back role away from James Starks if the veteran can’t turn things around rather quickly. Of course, neither Harris nor Starks are expected to see a ton of playing time considering Eddie Lacy will be the Green Bay Packers bell cow, though Starks’ struggles will likely find him playing even less than was anticipated.

Starks came on strong last season after being mildly inconsistent for the vast majority of his career and there was hope that he was finally going to fulfill his promise. However, his struggles through the preseason have lead to some questioning if he can handle the backup role behind Eddie Lacy moving forward, especially given the talent of DuJuan Harris.

Tags: Green Bay Packers James Starks

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