Don’t Take Ryan For Granted

The Packers re-signed Ryan Grant after yet another running back got injured

The Packers finally re-signed Ryan Grant, but only after losing a third running back to injury. You can’t blame GM Ted Thompson for not wanting to bring back the fifth-leading rusher in team history. After all, Grant turns 30 in a few days and he hasn’t had a truly productive season since 2009. It was clearly time to move on. But now, with James Starks joining Cedric Benson and Brandon Saine in the running back wing of the infirmary, it’s clearly time to go back. And believe it or not, I’m kind of excited to see what happens next.

Grant doesn’t have much life left in his legs, but the Packers aren’t asking him to run a marathon. He just needs to be able to run the final few miles. The former Notre Dame standout keeps himself in great condition and he possesses the one thing that gives him a fighting chance against younger and faster defenders – fresh legs. Grant has played in only 1 game this season, and that was nearly eight weeks ago.

Alex Green will be the No. 1 running back on Sunday, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him relinquish that role (again) in the very near future. It’s easy to forget that Grant ran for 276 yards in the final five games of last season, and he averaged a healthy 5.5 yards per carry. That’s over 2 yards per carry better than what Green’s been able to accomplish through the first 12 games of this season. Cynics argued that Grant’s success came against defenses that didn’t give a crap about stopping the run. Those cynics were 100 percent right. But guess what, defenses still don’t give a crap about stopping the run.

Grant no longer has the power or the speed to be his own blocker or to pull away from DBs in the open field, but he still has the vision and the patience to hit holes as they open (or at least he did 10 months ago). While that may not sound like much, it’s something Green has struggled with all season. Look, I’m not saying Grant will have the same impact down the stretch this season that Starks had two years ago, but you never know. I honestly think this move has a chance to pay off. Just how much remains to be seen.

About author

Michael Rodney

Packer Update is the creation of a longtime fan. My name is Michael Rodney and I was a sportswriter in the 1990s. I worked full-time for a paper in Jersey but I still managed to get quite a few articles about the Packers published during that time. I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing about the most storied franchise in the NFL.


  1. Nerdmann 12/05/2012 at 7:23 pm

    He’ll be fresh and always did get stronger as the season wore on.

    But vision? lol,

    It’s a good signing. Dude’s a solid vet.

    • Stroh 12/06/2012 at 12:15 am

      Couldn’t agree more. Vision and patience are not things I ever saw in Grant. I distinctly remember the vast majority of Packer fans being fed up w/ the number of times Grant ran right up the backs of his OL. It seemed to be the prevailing complaint of Grant.

      He was a decent RB and considering our current situation a good sign. But Grant was a very ordinary RB. He basically got out of the play what was blocked, nothing more and not usually less. But his vision and patience were lacking… He might become as good or better option than Green, but that is only based on the fact that Green has those same issues and has far too many plays where he loses yards, but that doesn’t mean Grant has vision or patience. If he did he wouldn’t be running into his blockers so regularly.

  2. Jethro 12/06/2012 at 10:08 am

    I love the fact that he got a standing ovation from his teammates.

  3. Jr 12/06/2012 at 4:46 pm

    I hate grant hes just plain awful…I do however know he was the best the packers could find.Hes the king of getting cuaght in the back field.

  4. DHoward 12/07/2012 at 7:56 am

    He’s a mudder. His time of year to shine.

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