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Packers 2014 Roster Preview: Returning Running Backs

Eddie Lacy is the unquestioned starter for the Packers at running back this season, but he is backed up by a pair of talented players.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

To prepare for training camp, we will be breaking down every player on the Green Bay Packers' 90-man roster in more detail, looking at contract terms and 2013 statistics, before we make our prediction for which players will make the 53-man roster at the end of training camp.

The Green Bay Packers are going to have an exciting (if healthy) rotation of returning backs this offseason as they get ready to compete for 53-man roster spots. For the first time since Ryan Grant, the Packers head into training camp knowing for a fact they'll have a reliable player in the backfield to help supplement Aaron Rodgers and the passing game during the season. Not to say that that wasn't expected last season with Eddie Lacy, but the impact he made wasn't fully expected around camp.

We continue our preview of the backs heading into training camp -- one that unfortunately doesn't including Johnathan Franklin after we learned of his career-ending neck injury - and today we give a look into the returning men the offense will have competing for roster spots.

Eddie Lacy

5'11", 230 pounds
Acquired: Packers 2013 second-round draft pick

2014 Contract Terms (signed through 2016)

Base salary: $559,201
Salary cap hit: $771,003

2013 stats

15 games played, 15 starts
Rushing: 284 carries, 1,178 yards (4.1 YPC), 11 touchdowns
Receiving: 35 receptions, 257 yards (7.3 YPR)

Lacy is the unquestioned starter at tailback for the Packers heading into the season. Even though he missed a game last season due to a concussion, Lacy went on to rumble for 1,178 yards on the season and took home well-deserved Rookie of the Year honors. After his stellar rookie campaign, Lacy is primed to top his totals from last season and finish as a top-five back this year. Even with the possibility of the Packers wanting to keep him fresh by limiting his carries.

James Starks

6'2", 218 pounds
Acquired: 6th-round draft pick in 2010; re-signed on a two-year deal in 2014

2014 Contract Terms (signed through 2015)

Base salary: $750,000
Signing Bonus: $725,000
Workout bonus: $75,000
Roster bonuses: $182,813
Salary cap hit: $1,370,313

2013 stats

13 games, 1 start
Rushing: 89 carries, 493 yards (5.5 YPC), three touchdowns
Receiving: 10 receptions, 89 yards (8.9 YPR), one touchdown

Starks has battled injuries during his first four seasons in the NFL. Last season he played in 13 games (he started one in place of Lacy week 3 in Cincinnati) but has shown the ability to compliment the more powerful Lacy in the backfield. Starks ran well in week 16 when he gained 88 yards on 11 carries, which included a 41-yard run. His best game came when he rushed for 132 yards on 20 carries after Lacy suffered a concussion against the Washington Redskins. After helping the Packers during their 2010 run to a Superbowl title, some considered Starks to be a lead back for the team going forward. That hasn't turned out, but still, his style out of the backfield is one the Packers wanted to keep in the mix.

DuJuan Harris

5'8", 203 pounds
Acquired: Signed to the Packers' practice squad in 2012, promoted to active roster later in 2012

2014 Contract Terms (signed through 2014 only)

Base salary: $645,000
Salary cap hit: $645,000

2013 stats

Missed all of 2013 due to injury

After missing all of the 2013 season due to a knee injury, Harris returned this offseason healthy and working to get back to his 2012 explosive form. In the 2012 season, he only played in four contests, but had his best game as a pro rushing for 70 yards on 14 attempts against the Vikings in Minnesota (also adding two catches for 17 yards). He spent short stints with the Steelers and Jaguars before finding somewhat of a consistent home in Green Bay with the Packers. Before his injury last year, he was one of the favorites to land the starting tailback job.

John Kuhn

6'0", 250 pounds
Acquired: Claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh in 2007; re-signed with the Packers on a one-year deal this offseason

2014 Contract Details (signed through 2014 only)

Base salary: $855,000
Signing Bonus: $100,000
Workout bonus: $50,000
Roster bonuses: $46,875
Salary cap hit: $1,051,875

2013 stats

15 games played, 6 starts
Rushing: 10 carries, 38 yards (3.8 YPC), one touchdown
Receiving: 13 receptions, 81 yards (6.2 YPR)

Kuhn played in 15 of 16 games last season for the Packers, but only touched the ball 23 times all season. The position of fullback is starting to head on the decline in the NFL, but Kuhn still managed to provide a valuable role for the team last season. He helped paved the way and contributed to a positive year from running back Eddie Lacy. That included two critical blocks during the team's week 15 comeback win against the Dallas Cowboys (Lacy's 60-yard run, and over-the-top go-ahead touchdown in the fourth). Kuhn also contributed as a lead-blocker while Aaron Rodgers missed time due to his collarbone injury.