1) Introduction: After missing his entire senior season at Buffalo due to injury, James Starks fell to the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Packers stashed him on the PUP list to start the season before activating him for their week 13 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Starks was the Packers’ starting running back during the team’s run to the Super Bowl in 2010. But in his second season, Starks was nothing more than an average running back on a pass-happy team. He entered 2012 as the team’s starter, but expectations were limited.
James Darell Starks
- Age: 26
- Born: 02/25/1986, in Niagara Falls, NY
- Height: 6’2″
- Weight: 218
- College: Buffalo
- Rookie Year: 2010
- NFL Experience: 3 years
3) Expectations coming into the season: Starks was the starter coming into the season, playing ahead of second-year player Alex Green. But after a porous performance in the team’s preseason opener in San Diego, the team realized Starks may not be the answer. As a result, the Packers signed veteran Cedric Benson in hopes that he’d help revive a struggling running game.
4) Player’s highlights/low-lights: After the preseason opener against the Chargers on August 9, turf toe kept Starks out of the lineup until October 14 against the Houston Texans. The early-season injury was more of the same for Starks. But with Benson out for the season and Alex Green struggling as the starter, Starks became a more important part of the offense late in the season. The highlight of his 2012 season was against the Minnesota Vikings when he rushed for 66 yards on 15 carries, including a 22-yard touchdown run.
5) Player’s contribution to the overall team success: Starks totaled 255 rushing yards on 71 carries throughout the season. The team’s production in the running game wasn’t anything more than average, and Starks, appearing in just six games, was only a minor contributor to the team’s overall success on the ground.
6) Player’s contributions in the playoffs: Starks missed the team’s last four regular season games and didn’t appear in either of the Packers’ postseason games.
Season Report Card:
(D) Level of expectations met during the season
(D) Contributions to team’s overall success.
(F) Contributions to team during the playoffs
Overall Grade: D-