Packers cut running back James Starks

James Starks is no longer a member of the Green Bay Packers.

ESPN’s Field Yates was the first to report the team has cut the running back after six years. Yates said it came with a non-football injury designation. Starks suffered a concussion in a car accident in December, though he had also missed time in 2016 with a knee injury.

By cutting him, the team saves the $3 million he was due to make in 2017, though ESPN’s Adam Shefter tweeted he wouldn’t be surprised to see the team bring Starks back at a lower salary.

Since coming to the team as a seventh-round draft pick in 2010, Starks ran for 2,506 yards and nine touchdowns, while adding 1,017 yards and six scores receiving. But he managed to play all 16 games in just two of his six seasons, starting 13 games over that timespan.

Starks did play a significant role in the team’s 2010 run to the Super Bowl. After missing the first 13 games of the year, he had 101 yards over the final three games of that season, before rushing for 315 yards in their four playoff wins, including the Super Bowl XLV victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With Starks gone, and his backfield mate, Eddie Lacy, a free agent, the Packers have just Christine Michael and Ty Montgomery on their running back depth chart.

Green Bay adds running back Christine Michael off of waivers

For the second time this year, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has acquired a castoff from one of his former disciples.

The team announced Wednesday that they had claimed running back Christine Michael off of waivers from the Seattle Seahawks, whose personnel man, John Schneider, served under Thompson and former general manager Ron Wolf in Green Bay.

Michael ran for 469 yards and six touchdowns this year for the Seahawks, including a career-high 106 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. But he had fallen out of favor in recent weeks, and with preferred starter Thomas Rawls set to return, Seahawks let him go, in what some called a shocking move.

For Green Bay, the move makes perfect sense. With starter Eddie Lacy on injured reserve, backup James Starks still trying to regain his form following knee surgery and the trade for Knile Davis not working out, Michael gives the Packers a somewhat proven option in the backfield. The 26-year-old can work with Starks and converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery to help a running game that ranks 21st in the NFL.

Michael has rushed for 966 yards in his four-year NFL career after getting drafted by the Seahawks in the second round of the 2013 draft.

Green Bay placed running back Don Jackson on injured reserve to make room for Michael on the roster.

The Packers (4-5) travel to Washington (5-3-1) this Sunday.

Packers’ LB Clay Matthews won’t play vs Tennessee, other injury updates

A hamstring injury will keep linebacker Clay Matthews from playing in Green Bay’s matchup with Tennessee on Sunday.

That was the word from Packers coach Mike McCarthy when he met with the media Friday morning.

“We’re going to list Clay as out this week,” McCarthy said. “(He’s) making progress, (but) he won’t be available this week.”

This will be the third-straight game Matthews has missed due to the injury. He’ll be replaced by veteran Julius Peppers.

Also, McCarthy said running back James Starks and tight end Jared Cook have looked good this week, but it’s still unclear if either will play against the Titans.

Starks has missed the last month following knee surgery, while Cook hasn’t played since Week 3 when he suffered a high ankle sprain.

“James is very close,” McCarthy said. “We’ll see how Jared is coming Saturday.”

McCarthy believes that cornerback Damarious Randall has a chance to play after missing the last three games with a leg injury, while he anticipates wide receiver Randall Cobb not being limited at all after being used sparingly a week ago in a loss to the Colts because of a hamstring injury.

“It’s better than last week, so that’s an improvement,” McCarthy said of the injury list. “We’re getting healthier and that’s important. But frankly, the focus is on finalizing the preparation for the Titans.”

Starks downgraded to OUT vs Cowboys

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers released an update to their injury report Saturday afternoon ahead of Sunday’s contest with the Dallas Cowboys. It included downgrading running back James Starks to “OUT” and the addition of cornerback Quinten Rollins to “QUESTIONABLE.”

Starks has been dealing with a knee injury and was held out of practice all week. Randall was a limited participant all week, joining Damarious Randall as members of the secondary dealing with groin issues.

If Lacy is unable to play or needs a rest, the emergency protocol is to use receiver Randall Cobb in the backfield. Ty Montgomery has also been getting reps in practice for such an occasion.

Injury report

S Chris Banjo (hamstring) | OUT

TE Jared Cook (ankle) | OUT

RB Eddie Lacy (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE

CB Damarious Randall (groin) | QUESTIONABLE

CB Quinten Rollins (groin) | QUESTIONABLE

CB Sam Shields (concussion) | OUT

RB James Starks (knee) | OUT