The Green Bay Packers, as reported by ESPN, signed Ryan Grant this morning to fill the hole left by the loss of running back James Starks.
It was reported last night that Starks was lost for the season from a knee injury suffered in Sunday’s game against the Vikings. The injury to Starks came as a big surprise to most, not only because he rushed three times for 9 yards after the injury occurred late in Sunday’s game.
Grant, the oft-injured running back who led the team in rushing over the past few years, knows the system and should be able to step in and replace Starks in the lineup.
Grant was with the Packers from 2007 to 2011 but the team didn’t re-sign him after last season for various reasons. Team officials believed they could get along with the running backs they had on the team – Starks, Alex Green and John Kuhn. However, a rash of injuries this season, in addition to that suffered by Starks this past Sunday, have forced the Packers’ hand. They couldn’t rely only on the services of Green and Kuhn to carry the load.
Grant was signed earlier this year by the Washington Redskins after being out of football but played in just one game before being cut.
Last season Grant rushed for 559 yards and two touchdowns and caught 19 passes for 268 yards for the Packers.
In the five seasons that Grant played with the Packers, had 924 attempts for 4,016 yards (4.3 yard average) and 25 touchdowns. Grant is also a valuable receiver, having caught 92 passes for 726 yards.
Just how much Grant has left in the tank is yet to be seen, but he was about the only available running back on the street that the Packers could sign – his familiarity with the system and his popularity among players on the team should make his rejoining of the team seamless.