Ryan Grant Returns to Green Bay Packers

By Michael Terrill
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers have added Ryan Grant back to the roster after James Starks injured his knee against the Minnesota Vikings in Sunday’s 23-14 victory.

Starks could be done for the season, along with starting running back Cedric Benson, which means the doors have once again opened for Grant in Green Bay. Grant was a free agent after the 2011 season and since the Packers had a good set of running backs at their disposal for a decent price, they did not feel the need to offer the 30-year-old an expensive contract.

Grant was signed by the Washington Redskins and played in one game for them in which he rushed for five yards on one attempt in Week 5.  However, it clearly did not work out for them, as the NFL is not a place for aging running backs who expect a good sized contract.

Since the Packers acquired Grant from the New York Giants in a trade during the 2007 season, he has been nothing but a delight for a team that was not able to run the ball effectively. Grant posted 956 yards on 188 carries in his first year with Green Bay and followed that up with a 1,203-yard season on a career-high 312 attempts.

However, Grant’s breakout year came in 2009 when the Packers almost made a dent in the postseason. The six-year player rushed for a career-high 1,253 yards on 282 attempts and scored a career-high 11 rushing touchdowns. He ran for 61 first downs and averaged 4.4 yards per carry, something the Packers have struggled to do since his departure. Grant has also been phenomenal in the receiving game as he averaged 14.1 yards per catch on 19 receptions in 2011.

With the signing, it is almost guaranteed that Starks’ season is over. It certainly comes as a surprise considering the running back was not mentioned in head coach Mike McCarthy’s Monday injury report. This does not come as a surprise to Packer fans as the 2012 season continues to mirror that of the 2010 Super Bowl year in which the team was plagued with injuries.

The move to sign Grant is a great break that will hopefully pan out for both parties. It is obvious Grant wanted to continue playing football as he felt he had plenty left in the tank. Meanwhile, Green Bay is hoping he can resurrect the pitiful run offense and help the Packers win out the regular season to not only clinch the NFC North, but to also secure the No. 2 seed in the NFC. It could certainly be a great story if Green Bay can make the 2012 another special season just like 2010.

Michael is a MLB and NBA Featured Writer for Rant Sports, but covers topics for various teams in baseball, basketball, and football. Make sure to follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelTerrill and on Facebook.

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