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Injury status of Packers’ runners — elusive

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — Running back Eddie Lacy doesn’t appear on the Green Bay Packers injury report, just as he didn’t before the team’s last two games.

Yet, the Packers aren’t necessarily a picture of prime health at running back.

The status of No. 2 back James Starks for the big Sunday night game at the Denver Broncos is in limbo. Starks continues to recover from a hip injury he sustained in Green Bay’s last game before it just had its bye week.

“Until we get him on the field, we won’t know,” head coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday, when Starks was held out of practice for the second time in three days. The Packers were off Tuesday.

Starks managed to fight through the previously undisclosed injury to finish with 112 yards – the first 100-yard rushing game by a Packer this season – in only 10 carries in Green Bay’s 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 18. Starks scored two touchdowns in that game, highlighted by a 65-yard run.

While McCarthy was mum about Starks’ prognosis for the rest of the week, the coach tried to downplay Lacy’s physical condition, which has been called into question in recent weeks.

Lacy suffered a significant ankle injury early in the Week 2 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

The young standout has managed to play every game since then, but his productivity has regressed after he turned 18 carries into a season-high 90 yards in the Week 4 win at the San Francisco 49ers.

In the last two games, Lacy has all of 30 yards in just 17 carries. He was limited to four carries for a microscopic three yards playing in a 50/50 split with Starks in the game against the Chargers.

When asked whether the notoriously rugged Lacy is playing at a heavier weight this season, McCarthy snapped, “I’m not going to get into guys’ weights … but I think players do get bigger in their career. But, he’s bigger than he was as a rookie.”

The team lists the 5-foot-11 Lacy at 234 pounds.

McCarthy, though, insisted the ankle injury isn’t affecting Lacy “anymore.”

–Running back James Starks (hip) landed on the injury report Wednesday after not being able to practice for the second day this week. Head coach Mike McCarthy said Starks suffered the injury during the Packers’ pre-bye win over the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 18, though the veteran managed to play the full game and rush for a season-high 112 yards and score two touchdowns in a platoon with lead back Eddie Lacy. Still to be determined is whether the injury is significant enough to keep Starks from playing Sunday night at the Denver Broncos.

–Wide receiver Davante Adams (ankle) remains on track to return to game action Sunday night for the big road matchup with the Broncos. Adams, who practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, has missed the last three games because of a reinjured left ankle sprain. “I’ve never been a guy to miss games, so it’s long overdue. I’m ready to get back out there,” Adams said.

–Wide receiver/kick returner Ty Montgomery (ankle) has yet to practice this week. Montgomery’s absence from Wednesday’s practice isn’t promising for the rookie’s availability for Sunday’s game at Denver. Montgomery suffered a sprained left ankle in the pre-bye win over the Chargers on Oct. 18. If Montgomery can’t play this weekend, second-year receiver Jared Abbrederis is the top candidate to handle kickoff returns.

–Strong safety Morgan Burnett (calf) is working toward being able to play Sunday night at Denver. The veteran starter hasn’t played the last four games because of his lingering lower-leg injury. He practiced in limited fashion Wednesday.

–Nose tackle B.J. Raji (groin) is gradually being eased into practice this week after being out since suffering his injury in the Week 5 win over the St. Louis Rams on Oct. 11. Raji practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. More on the veteran starter’s status for the Sunday night game at Denver won’t be known until later in the week.

–Outside linebacker Nick Perry (shoulder/hand) had limited work in practice Wednesday. Perry, who ranks third on the team with 3 1/2 sacks, missed the Packers’ last game Oct. 18. Whether he’s able to get the OK to play Sunday against the Broncos is up in the air.

–Inside linebacker Nate Palmer (chest) appears on the injury report this week. The injury doesn’t appear to be significant since Palmer, who has started the last five games, practiced in full Wednesday.


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