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If necessary, McCarthy prepared to go with just two RBs

Posted by Mike Spofford on September 19, 2013 – 4:36 pm

With RB Eddie Lacy (concussion) and FB John Kuhn (hamstring) still not having practiced this week, Mike McCarthy said on Thursday he’s prepared to go into Sunday’s game at Cincinnati with just two running backs — James Starks and Johnathan Franklin — if he has to.

RB Johnathan Franklin

RB Johnathan Franklin

“I’m prepared. That’s my job,” McCarthy said. “The preference is not to go into the game with two running backs. We’ll be much better prepared than we were two years ago in Kansas City.”

McCarthy referred to that game as a “hard lesson,” as the Packers’ only healthy RBs for that contest were Ryan Grant and Kuhn, and Grant had bruised ribs coming in. McCarthy said the game got to a point in the second half where “it was time to run the ball,” but Grant had to sit out a series or two and the Packers didn’t have the firepower in the backfield to make it go.

The Packers do have one RB on the practice squad, rookie Michael Hill from Missouri Western, so if neither Lacy nor Kuhn can play, Hill would be a possible third back, but a player would have to be released in order for Hill to be signed to the 53-man roster.

An emergency option would be WR Randall Cobb, who has carried the ball out of the backfield at times the past two seasons, but McCarthy said he’d never put Cobb in a workhorse-type position.

“I don’t want to make a living running the ball with Randall Cobb, let’s be honest,” McCarthy said. “Randall is a dynamic player, but he doesn’t need to be lined up behind center carrying the ball 20 times. That’s not the plan.”

It’s also not the plan to automatically sit all of the Packers’ injured players because the bye week is coming up, though McCarthy did indicate S Morgan Burnett (hamstring) is a “longshot” to play this week.

In Thursday’s full-pads practice, CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring) joined Burnett, Lacy and Kuhn as a non-participant, while TE Jermichael Finley (toe) and DE Johnny Jolly (neck) practiced but were limited. G T.J. Lang (back) was added to the report as a limited participant, but McCarthy didn’t believe his injury was anything serious.

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Posted in Packers.com Blog | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “If necessary, McCarthy prepared to go with just two RBs”

  1. By OKGOPACK on Sep 19, 2013 | Reply

    Okay, wait…two O-linemen with bad backs, three r.b.s out (counting Harris) and trouble with the secondary? This is looking better and better!~~

  2. By Peg Roach on Sep 19, 2013 | Reply

    Heck, don’t be afraid to run Randall Cobb!!! He lined up behind center before he ever got there and carried the ball a lot. Just don’t want him to get hurt! That young man can play any position!! LOVE to watch him play. …. and yes, gotta’ admit I’m an old widder woman from Kentucky!

  3. By OKGOPACK on Sep 19, 2013 | Reply

    We love to watch little Randall, too. He’s amazing, heart of a champion!

  4. By Green Tide on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    This seems to be a common theme in GB over the years. Way too many injuries to the higher profiled players. Thank goodness A. Rodgers is made of steal.

    Are injuries just more common now, better diagnosis, more care or something else?

    Are other teams plagued like the Pack seems to be?

  5. By Thom on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    Jeremy Ross has lined up at running in high school (rushed for 9.7 yards a carry his sr year) and college too. This might be a away to get him on the field and see what he can do as a swiss army knife type player. At 6’1 215 he is roughly the same size as Starks, bigger than Franklin, and he runs (at least returns) with a low pad level.

    I would like to at least see it.

  6. By BC on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    Bostick or Quarless?

  7. By Scott on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    What has Ross done lately? Hmm. Muffed punt (SanFran Playoffs) Poor, Poor KO returns vs San Fran (week 1). That is more important than what he did in Jr High School.
    I would have cut him right along with Jarrett Bush.

  8. By Dale Tietjen on Sep 20, 2013 | Reply

    What a bunch of cry-baby fans.

    Next man up.

    Deal with adversity.

    Grow a pair.

    We’ve got the depth to handle anything.

    Are you already forgetting our (most recent) Super Bowl season? We were riddled with injuries then and we won it all.

    We’ve got more weapons than anybody else–on offense, on defense, on special teams.

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