James Starks a couple weeks away from returning

Reuters

Packers running back James Starks isn’t ready to return to the field. But he might be by the time the regular season starts.

Starks will take a couple of weeks to return from his turf toe injury, Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said today. That almost certainly means he won’t play in the preseason, but he might be ready to go for the start of the regular season, three weeks from today.

Brandon Saine, the No. 2 running back behind Starks on the Packers’ depth chart, is expected to return in the next week from a hamstring injury.

McCarthy said he expects the starters to play the first half of Thursday’s preseason game against the Bengals. That means both Saine and newcomer Cedric Benson will have some opportunities to show what they can do with the first string offensive line in front of them. But Starks will be watching from the sideline.