Less than 24 hours after many questioned why featured back Eddie Lacy didn't start the 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday and had only four carries in the game for a total of three yards, McCarthy explained why.
"Eddie is pretty much like our whole football team - he's beat up," McCarthy said in his day-after-game news conference. "This (bye) week will help him."
Lacy said multiple times after the game that he's fine physically. The third-year standout suffered an ankle injury in the Week 2 win over the Seattle Seahawks but hasn't needed to miss any games since then.
Against the Chargers, McCarthy tabbed James Starks to make the start. Working in a 50-50 time share in the backfield with Lacy, the dependable Starks responded with his first two-touchdown game as a pro, highlighted by a 65-yard run in the opening quarter.
Green Bay's first 100-yard rushing game of the season belonged to Starks, who finished with 112 yards in 10 carries, and not Lacy, who touched the football just six times with two catches.
As the Packers started their bye week Monday, McCarthy revealed his preference for how the football is distributed among his backs.
"James Starks is an outstanding running back, so we want to be a 1-2 punch," McCarthy said. "At this point, I'm not really interested in running one of my running backs 20, 25 times in a game. I don't think that's the best thing for us. Right now, it's not the best thing for them.
"The running-back position is an extremely punishing position that can take a lot of hits. I think you have to be conscientious of that, and Eddie has a bruising running style."
Lacy was accepting of his reduced role Sunday in deference to his would-be top understudy.
"Starks got on a roll early, and when the guy gets hot like that, you want him to keep going, and he was able to keep performing," Lacy said. "I'm happy for him."
--After the heavily favored Packers hung on for the close win Sunday, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers admitted some envy for what his San Diego counterpart attained.
Rivers set three Chargers records with 43 completions, 65 pass attempts and the 503 passing yards, which equals the second-highest total by an opposing quarterback against Green Bay.
"Yeah, that was impressive - a lot of throws," Rodgers said. "I wouldn't mind throwing 65 times now and then."
On a day when the Chargers nearly doubled Green Bay's time of possession, 38 minutes to 22 minutes, Rodgers threw only 29 passes, completing 16 of them.
Rodgers did attain a big milestone Sunday.
He reached 30,000 passing yards, becoming the fastest in NFL history to do so. Rodgers hit the mark on his 3,652nd career throw on a short pass to Lacy in the fourth quarter, eclipsing the previous standard of 3,695 pass attempts by Pro Football Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas.
NOTES: WR Ty Montgomery (ankle) left the 27-20 win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday with the injury to his lower left leg in the second quarter and didn't return. Coach Mike McCarthy announced Monday that the rookie suffered an ankle sprain but didn't seem too concerned about the severity of it. "I think he's feeling a little better than obviously he was when they took him off the field," McCarthy said. ... WR Davante Adams (ankle) was held out of Sunday's win over the Chargers. It was the third straight missed game for the young starter. ... NT B.J. Raji (groin) didn't play Sunday against the Chargers.