Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/13/12

There are several second-year tailbacks being counted on by their respective teams to become big-time ball carriers in 2012.

But few of them posted only three attempts, or gained a whopping 11 yards, as Alex Green did for the Packers in his debut season.

Yet the former third-round draft choice from Hawaii, who appeared in just four games before a knee injury ended his initial NFL season, is regarded as an essential part of the Green Bay running game for '12. The Packers have not signed a veteran back, didn't invest a draft choice in a runner, and don't appear interested in re-signing unrestricted free agent Ryan Grant, the last Green Bay runner to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season (2009).

The carries might not be split 50-50, but Green is expected to share time with James Starks at tailback.

"It really is kind of a vote of confidence," Green, who continues to rehab from his knee injury," said this week. "A lot of people might (view) last year as wasted, but I learned a lot about what it takes to play at this level, (and) I'm anxious to show it."

The Packers' brass might be keeping the phone numbers of a few veterans on speed-dial, but for now the plan seems to be to go with Starks, Green, and perhaps Brandon Saine, an undrafted rookie in 2011, who logged just 18 carries.

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