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Packers Activate Starks, Release Francois

According to, the Green Bay Packers have activated rookie 6th round RB James Starks from the PUP list and released LB Robert Francois. This was the second time the Packers released Francois this season. If you still consider John Kuhn a fullback, this marks the first time this season they've had three running backs on the active roster. They had left Francois inactive last week, and he had apparently fell down the depth chart behind all three linebackers they signed just a couple weeks ago. He looked undersized when forced to play in place of injured LB Brady Poppinga during the Dolphins game.

This is somewhat of a surprise since I expected them to try and slip either Starks or RB Dimitri Nance past waivers and onto the practice squad. Mike McCarthy has said that Starks still has a lot to learn while Nance finally got some touches during garbage time against the Cowboys. Maybe they didn't expect either player would clear waivers unclaimed. It's likely that Starks will be left inactive on most game days.

The back story to this is that they kept Starks over veteran CB Al Harris. Kevin Seifert thought this was a classic Packers roster move to keep the young guy over the old veteran. Mike McCarthy acknowledged as much when he said the decision to release Harris was based on "overall depth and the future of our roster." They have future plans for Starks, but none for Harris.