The Green Bay Packers have been bitten by the injury bug perhaps more than any NFL team this season. But headed into their divisional round matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, the Packers are getting healthier.
Running back James Starks (knee) is set to return to the field for the Packers. Starks hasn’t played since Dec. 2 when he carried the ball 15 times for 66 yards and a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings.
Prior to his injury, Starks had taken over as the team’s feature back. He had carried the ball at least 15 times in three of the team’s previous four games.
But since being forced to sit out, DuJuan Harris has taken over as the starting running back. In the past two weeks, Harris has carried the ball 31 times for 117 yards and a touchdown. He’s only caught seven passes for 70 yards.
Exactly what the Packers plan to do at running back is unknown, but one would expect Harris to get the bulk of the work against the 49ers.
Wide receivers Jordy Nelson (ankle) and Randall Cobb (flu) both practiced in full on Friday. Like Starks, both players are listed as probable and are scheduled to play in San Francisco, giving the Packers their full repertoire of core wide receivers for the second-consecutive week. Greg Jennings and James Jones are also healthy and ready to go.
Fellow wide receiver Jarrett Boykin will not play this week. Boykin suffered an ankle injury in week 17 against the Vikings.
The flu has been making its way around the Packers’ locker room recently. Tramon Williams was sent home with flu-like symptoms in the week leading up to last week’s game, and several players have caught the illness since, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“I know this sickness thing is going around. I think I didn’t get the real bad stuff, that some of the guys have that had to go home, not that I would have been able to go home anyway if I wasn’t feeling; if I was feeling horrendous. … I’m hoping with a couple of good nights of sleep I will be 100 percent.”
On his weekly radio show, Rodgers told Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee he’s not worried about the illness.