Green Bay Packers (1-2) head coach Mike McCarthy announced Wednesday running back James Starks (knee), offensive guard Greg Van Roten (foot) and cornerback Casey Hayward (hamstring) have all been ruled out for Sunday's game against the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions (3-1).
Hayward has battled a hamstring injury since training camp and will likely sit out a couple more weeks, while Van Roten has yet to play an offensive snap this season. The Packers promoted running back Michael Hill from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Monday and Hill will likely serve as the team's third-string running back against Detroit.
McCarthy said on Monday rookie running back Eddie Lacy (concussion) was "full-go" in practice on Monday and he has been medically cleared to play against Detroit, barring any further setbacks. Fellow rookie running back Johnathan Franklin (foot) and offensive back John Kuhn (hamstring) are both questionable to play Sunday.
Starks could be held out longer than just one game, according to McCarthy. Starks rushed for 55 yards on 14 carries in the first half of the Packers week three game against the Cincinnati Bengals before hobbling off of the field with the knee injury. Starks is the Packers' leading rusher this season, rushing for 187 yards on 34 carries (5.5 yards per carry) and one touchdown.
Tight end Jermichael Finley (concussion) and cornerback Jarrett Bush (hamstring) both returned to practice on Wednesday for Green Bay. Besides Starks, Hayward and Van Roten, All-Pro outside linebacker Clay Matthews (hamstring) sat out of Wednesday's practice. Matthews status for Sunday is questionable.
The Packers have averaged 128 rushing yards per game (9th in NFL) and have had a 100-yard rusher in each of the last two games. We'll have more injury news on Packers101.com later today and throughout the week.
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