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James Starks, not Eddie Lacy, now the Packers’ No. 1 back

Aaron Rodgers, James Starks

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers hands off to James Starks during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


James Starks is officially the Packers’ No. 1 running back.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy told reporters today that the team views Starks, and not Eddie Lacy, as the top back heading into Sunday’s game against the Lions.

“I would say James is our No. 1 back right now going into Detroit,” McCarthy said. “He’s earned that opportunity. We’ll stay with a 1-2 punch.”

That’s a disappointment for Lacy, who has started seven games this year and not long ago was viewed as one of the best running backs in the NFL. But it’s hard to argue against the move, given the players’ production this year: Starks has 78 carries for 334 yards, while Lacy has 83 carries for 308 yards. Neither player has been great this year, but Starks has been better.

Lacy has also been battling injuries, and it might make sense for the Packers to reduce his workload until he’s 100 percent healthy.

The Packers are on a two-game losing streak, so it’s no surprise that McCarthy wants to make some changes. With the Lions coming to town, it’s a safe bet that the Packers will get back on track on Sunday.