Here is a look at the Green Bay Packers’ backfield depth chart heading into training camp:
Alex Green (6-0, 220; third season): Returning from a torn ACL that ended his rookie season, Green rushed for a team-high 464 yards but averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. Twice, he failed to hang onto the starting job, and he didn’t play in the final four games. It’s a make-or-break season for the former third-round pick.
James Starks (6-2, 218; fourth season): Starks wound up playing in just six games. He missed the first five games after sustaining turf toe in the preseason, then missed six games with a knee injury sustained during an impressive 66-yard outing. He rushed for 255 yards (3.6 average). He’s played in 27 of a possible 57 games, including playoffs. It’s a make-or-break season for the Super Bowl hero.
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DuJuan Harris (5-8, 203; first season): A midseason addition to the practice squad, Harris turned into practically a savior. While the other running backs went practically nowhere, Harris averaged 4.1 yards per carry and scored four touchdowns. He had a large cyst next to his lung removed and missed the offseason practices. The cyst restricted his lung capacity and his hope is he’ll come back stronger than ever.
Eddie Lacy (5-11, 230; rookie/R-2): The Alabama powerhouse had fusion surgery on his right big toe before the 2012 season. It hurt his draft stock but not his production, as he rushed for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns. His career average of 6.77 yards per carry led the nation’s active ball-carriers.
Johnathan Franklin (5-10, 205; rookie/R-4): Franklin rushed for 1,734 yards as a senior, with a 6.2 average and 13 touchdowns. His UCLA-record 4,403 career rushing yards ranks fifth in conference history. He’s explosive through the hole and plays big in pass protection.
Angelo Pease (5-10, 211; rookie/UDFA): In two seasons, he carried 96 times for 477 yards and two touchdowns and caught seven passes for 44 yards and another score. He impressed during the rookie camp but missed half of the offseason program with an undisclosed injury.
FB John Kuhn (6-0, 250; eighth season): The popular fullback is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none player. After back-to-back seasons of six total touchdowns, Kuhn found the end zone just once in 2012 before scoring twice vs. Minnesota in the playoffs. He matched his career high with 15 catches. This is his final season under contract, with a cap number of $2.54 million.
FB Jonathan Amosa (5-11, 247; rookie/UDFA): The Packers signed Texas’ Ryan Roberson after the draft but replaced him with Washington’s Amosa, who participated as a tryout player at the rookie camp. A walk-on linebacker, he played in 24 games at fullback and caught three passes.
Total: 8. On 2012 opening roster: 4 (Cedric Benson, Green, Kuhn, Starks).
Final prediction: 5 (Green, Harris, Lacy, Franklin, Kuhn).
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.