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Starks, Harrell could be on chopping block in Green Bay

James Starks,  Quentin Jammer

Green Bay Packers defensive back M.D. Jennings (44) gains yards as San Diego Chargers defensive back Quentin Jammer (23) defends during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)


Green Bay Packers G.M. Ted Thompson has pieced together perhaps the most talented roster in football, and will have difficult to decisions to make at upcoming first and final cuts. The Packers will inevitably cut some good players, who will in turn attract league-wide interest once they hit the open market.

Rob Reischel of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel produced a 53-man roster projection for Thursday morning’s editions, and it has two notable deletions. Backup quarterback Graham Harrell and running back James Starks don’t make the final 53.

Starks, who starred during Green Bay’s Super Bowl run two seasons ago and was the club’s 2011 lead back, is on the shelf with a significant turf-toe injury, jeopardizing his Week One availability. Starks was reportedly struggling in camp even before going down, and Reischel has the Packers keeping Cedric Benson, Alex Green, and Brandon Saine as their three tailbacks instead. Fullback John Kuhn can also carry the football and catch passes in a pinch.

Waiving Harrell would be less of a surprise, but still notable after he was talked up all offseason by coaches in Green Bay. Harrell just hasn’t gotten the job done in preseason games. He’s completed 27-of-51 passes (52.9 percent) for 235 yards (4.6 YPA), one touchdown, and two interceptions.

Reischel expects the Packers to ultimately trade for Aaron Rodgers’ backup. Colt McCoy and Tarvaris Jackson would be possibilities.