Most people in Green Bay saw highlights from the Atlanta Falcons-Detroit Lions game last Sunday. As Packers fans, we both hated and liked what we saw. We hated seeing Michael Turner run for 220 yards on 22 carries, as the Falcons visit Lambeau Field on October 5. We liked seeing Turner average 10.0 yards per carry against the Lions because the Packers play the Lions in Detroit on Sunday. For most of the people who watched the Packers triumph over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the run game was average at best. Ryan Grant had 92 yards on 12 carries, gaining 57 of them on one play. However, it was Grant’s first live-game action since the NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants, as Grant missed all of training camp and the preseason with a holdout and then a hamstring injury. The hamstring injury is still affecting him as he is listed as “questionable” for Sunday’s game.
The Packers need Grant to play in this game. They need a Turner-like performance from him. If Grant can’t go because of the hamstring, that means Brandon Jackson, last season’s opening day starter, would start. Jackson looked horrendous on Monday night, gaining only 12 yards on seven carries, and wearing white well as he was swarmed by at least three Vikings defenders every time he touched the ball. I’m not saying Jackson, a former second-round pick, is horrible, but the way Jackson could not get any penetration has me worried if Grant misses anytime. Kregg Lumpkin has not seen any action, but an injury to Grant could grant (no pun intended) Lumpkin an opportunity to show himself or another opportunity for DeShawn Wynn to come up off the practice squad and get a shot.
If Grant has a big day, the Packers win big. If he doesn’t, then it gets dicey.