Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy announced on Friday that his team would be without the services of running back James Starks and linebacker Desmond Bishop on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. Neither practiced on Friday.
Starks, the Packers leading rusher this season with 565 yards, left his third straight game last Sunday in New York with an ankle injury. In his absence, the Packers will lean more on Ryan Grant with undrafted rookie free agent Brandon Saine seeing snaps on passing downs.
Bishop will miss his second straight game because of a calf strain he suffered in Detroit. Fellow inside linebacker A.J. Hawk is listed as questionable with the same injury, and rookie D.J. Smith would start along side Hawk if he can go on Sunday. Without Bishop and Hawk in the lineup last week, the Packers surrendered 100 rushing yards on just 20 carries to the Giants. The Raiders currently rank third in the NFL in rushing this season.
Josh Sitton will also miss his second straight game with a knee strain. A timetable for his return hasn’t been officially set, so it’s unclear when Sitton might return to the field. Evan Dietrich-Smith will make his second start in Sitton’s place.
Vic So’oto had a flair up on a back injury he suffered earlier this season and won’t play. Chad Clifton (hamstring) was also ruled out. Clifton hasn’t played since Week 5 in Atlanta and may not return during the regular season.