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Packers plan to use James Starks as primary back this week, per report

The Packers could soon have one of their top tailbacks back on the field.

NFL: New York Giants at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers' wait for a lead running back appears to be almost over. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the team plans to lean on James Starks this week as its primary back.

Starks, who underwent knee surgery just under four weeks ago, hasn't appeared in a game since Oct. 9. Prior to his injury, he served in a reserve role behind starter Eddie Lacy. However, with Lacy sidelined with an ankle injury until at least Week 15, Starks could return as the Packers' new workhorse back.

Even if Starks plays this week, Green Bay could use several other players in tandem with him. Versatile offensive weapon Ty Montgomery has performed well as a runner and receiver out the backfield, with head coach Mike McCarthy making comments earlier Wednesday that suggest the team views him more as a running back now than a wide receiver. Undrafted rookie Don Jackson and fullback Aaron Ripkowski could too see some action.

Still, a healthy Starks makes the most sense for the Packers as a lead back, even despite his low efficiency thus far in 2016. On 24 carries, he has amassed 42 yards, putting him under 2 yards per carry. Starks' effectiveness could improve given a more steady diet of touches, however.

Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. He covers the NFL for Sports on Earth and SB Nation. He also serves as the senior writer and editor for Acme Packing Company, a Green Bay Packers blog.