The Green Bay Packers tabbed James Starks as their top running back, replacing the slumping Eddie Lacy.
Coach Mike McCarthy said before practice on Wednesday that Starks is the team's "No. 1 back right now" entering this weekend's game against Detroit.
McCarthy says the team will continue to use both backs. Starks received chunks of playing time when he came off the bench.
Lacy was an 1,100-yard rusher in each of his first two seasons in the league. But he has tailed off this year with just 308 yards rushing on 83 carries in eight games. Lacy sprained an ankle in Week 2 and left Sunday's loss at Carolina because of a groin injury.
… Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta was placed on injured reserve after doctors advised him that it was unsafe for him to return from right hip surgery. … The Jets placed right guard Willie Colon on season-ending injured reserve.
Hanson overdose possible
An overdose is possible in the death of former Braves and Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson, but the cause of his death has yet to be determined, authorities said. Hanson wasn't breathing when emergency crews tried to help him Sunday at a friend's home near Atlanta, Coweta County sheriff's officials wrote in their initial report. They typed "overdose" in a small section titled "crime incident."
Hall of Famer Brock has leg amputated
St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Lou Brock, a former base stealing champion, had his left leg amputated below the knee due to an infection related to diabetes. The 76-year-old Brock had had surgery last month.
Putin calls for investigation
Facing allegations that Russia engages in extensive, state-sponsored doping, President Vladimir Putin called on sports officials to carry out an internal investigation — but said that clean athletes shouldn't be punished for the actions of those who take banned drugs.
Putin's comments at a late-night meeting in Sochi, the city that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, reflected concerns that Russia's track and field athletes could be hit with a blanket ban for next year's summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Putin ordered Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and "all colleagues connected with sport" to pay close attention to the doping allegations and for an internal investigation to be conducted .
… Former Olympian Magic Johnson was named vice chair of the group trying to lure the 2024 Olympic Games to Los Angeles.
FBS lacks diversity
A new study of Football Bowl Subdivision schools and conferences shows top leadership positions remain significantly white and male.
The report released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport shows huge disparities in the percentage of gender and racial minorities serving as school presidents, athletic directors and faculty athletic representatives for all 128 FBS institutions.
Overall, whites held 342 of the 385 (88.8 percent) campus leadership positions. White men held 101 of the 128 (78.9 percent) president positions. Sixteen women and 11 nonwhite males serve as presidents in FBS, which is down from 19 and 13, respectively, in 2014.
Among athletic directors, white men held 102 of 128 jobs (79.7 percent), an increase of 2 percent. Seventeen were nonwhite males, with no female African-American, Asian, Latina or Native American athletic directors.
AROUND THE HORN
College basketball: Northwestern forward Vic Law will have surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder and will miss the season.
College football: Tennessee defensive end/linebacker Curt Maggitt likely will miss at least the rest of the regular season because of a hip injury.