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Green Bay Packers RB Christine Michael faces familiar foe in Seattle Seahawks

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The Sports Xchange
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy leaves the field after the Packers-Arizona Cardinals game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on January 16, 2016. The Cardinals defeated the Packers 26-20 in overtime. Photo by Art Foxall/UPI
Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy leaves the field after the Packers-Arizona Cardinals game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on January 16, 2016. The Cardinals defeated the Packers 26-20 in overtime. Photo by Art Foxall/UPI | License Photo

No need for a double-take when perusing the Seattle Seahawks' statistics through their first 12 games.

Christine Michael remains their leading rusher with 469 yards, but he's no longer a Seahawk.

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Three weeks into his tenure with the Green Bay Packers, however, Michael could still have an impact when Seattle visits Lambeau Field on Sunday.

"I like the progress Christine Michael is making," Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said earlier this week.

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After not playing in the Nov. 20 loss at the Washington Redskins and carrying the football only once in the Nov. 28 win at the Philadelphia Eagles, the involvement went up for Michael last time out. Though he gained just 19 yards, Michael led the Packers with nine carries in their 21-13 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Perhaps a potentially pivotal matchup for Green Bay against Michael's former team will mean a greater role as the Packers try to fix the running struggles that have plagued them most of the season.

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The Packers (6-6), who are two games behind the front-running Detroit Lions (8-4) in the NFC North, host the NFC West-leading Seahawks (8-3-1) at Lambeau Field.

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Like the Seahawks, who are counting on Thomas Rawls to supplant Michael as their rushing leader before the end of the season, the Packers are seeking a worthy successor to Eddie Lacy.

Green Bay's featured back is out for the rest of the season because of an ankle injury he aggravated in the Oct. 16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Nearly two months later, though, Lacy still leads the Packers with 360 rushing yards.

Next on the list is quarterback Aaron Rodgers with 301 yards and wide receiver Ty Montgomery with 187.

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James Starks, Lacy's understudy, was unable to latch onto a golden opportunity to be the main back the second half of the season. Starks has rushed for only 142 yards and an average of just 2.3 yards per carry.

The leash wasn't long for Starks against the Texans last weekend. He had only four carries for all of one yard, less than a week after he managed just 41 yards in a season-high 17 carries against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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McCarthy is favoring a back-by-committee approach down the stretch, incorporating the likes of Montgomery, fullback Aaron Ripkowski and, presumably, more of Michael.

"When Ty Montgomery goes into the game and Ripkowski plays and Christine has done some good things, those guys will have more opportunities," McCarthy said. "That's the way it's always gone here. If you produce, you will get more chances."

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