Starks expects to play Sunday

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers running back James Starks runs for a touchdown in the first quarter.

The Green Bay Packers host the Carolina Panthers Sunday, October 19, 2014, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. 
Wm. Glasheen/Post-Crescent Media

If it wasn't for his nephew, James Starks might not even have known what fellow running back Eddie Lacy was trying to hand him.

However, the Green Lantern emblem was unmistakable. So was his running mate's message. Lacy wanted Starks to wear it to complement the Hulk T-shirt he wears under his game-day jersey.

Since agreeing to the sign of solidarity, Starks has rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown on his last 15 carries (4.5 yards per attempt). He exited in the second half against Carolina, but returned to practice Thursday and is probable to play against the Saints.

Starks said he fully intends to be back on the field after the scare. He'll be bringing the T-shirt with him, too.

"It's like a good luck thing right now," Starks said. "We're going to keep it going."

The Packers rank 23rd in rushing offense (98.7 ypg), but made progress against the Panthers with Lacy and Starks combining for 99 yards on 19 carries (5.2 ypc).

"Our expectations never changed," Starks said. "There's stuff we still have to fix and ways we can get better, but it's a step towards the right direction."

Noah Steward, 14, takes a 'seflie' with running back Eddie Lacy after the Family Night practice at Lambeau Field on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.

Meaningful moment

Richard Rodgers Jr. didn't gush about playing against his dad's team last Sunday against Carolina, but Packers tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot could tell the rookie was feeding off added motivation.

With his father coaching the Panthers' special teams from the opposite sideline, the youngster had his best NFL game to date with several key blocks in 32 offensive snaps.

"I think Richard had a little bit of extra juice knowing he was playing his dad's team," Fontenot said. "Richard is a guy that doesn't show his emotions on his exterior, but I did get a chance to talk to his dad before the game. ... You could tell regardless of his dad's allegiance or work, he really cares about his son."

Nothing to see here

Neither Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews nor Richardson were fined for taunting penalties against the Panthers.

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