Green Bay Packers' Injury Quota: Will Starks Be the Next Harrell?

Colby Lanham@Colby1226Correspondent IAugust 12, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Running back James Starks of Buffalo runs during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

The Packers have been gaining notice as a real NFC North division winner and a legitimate shot to go deeper into the postseason.

The Packers have it all, or at least most of it. They have franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers, an underrated starter in Ryan Grant, and one of the deepest corps of receivers that includes Greg Jennings, longtime vet Donal Driver, and up-and-coming young tight end Jermichael Finley.

They also gain a much improved defense in the 3-4 system, with key playmakers in Clay Matthews, Charles Woodson, and Nick Collins—all are Pro Bowlers.

This is a team filled with youth, and they have a potentially bright future, and a capable GM and head coach in Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy, respectively. So I only have one question:

Why does it seem Packers players that could be great contributors suddenly get hit with the worst injuries in history?

The newest injury case is James Starks, a rookie RB from Buffalo chosen in the sixth round by the Pack.

Starks was a big talent before he was drafted, but his stock dropped due to missing his entire senior year with a bad shoulder injury. He has potential, especially with his ability to catch out of the backfield. But now, his injury history has followed him to the NFL, and he is now on PUP with a hamstring injury after a failed physical.

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The Packers have been here before, with a familiar player by the name of Justin Harrell. Despite his injury-riddled Tennessee career, the Packers still selected him in the first round, and gave him first-round pick money. Since then, he hasn't even played in half of the games since being drafted.

But, Starks can't, and doesn't, have the leverage of a first-round pick. Despite Stark's talent, he isn't necessarily a lock to make the team given his draft status.

There is also uncertainty by McCarthy as to when he will return from his injury. There is also the possibility of Injured Reserve or even release. The emergence of undrafted Quinn Porter and his pass-catching ability does not help Stark's case.

What will come of Starks?

Shall he return soon better than ever?

Will he get IR, or even get the boot out of Green Bay?

Only time will tell. And he does not have Harrell time.