UPDATE: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 1:10 p.m. ET by Donald Wood
After reports broke earlier this morning, the Green Bay Packers have officially signed running back Ryan Grant and have placed Johnny White (concussion) on the Injured Reserve, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
Packers announced they signed RB Ryan Grant and placed RB Johnny White (concussion) on injured reserve.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 5, 2012
While this is exciting news for a Packers team desperate for a spark in the running game, the fact that it was White placed on the IR instead of James Starks (knee) could be good news for Starks prognosis going forward.
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Grant signed with the Washington Redskins earlier this season, but he got lost in the shuffle of Mike Shanahan running backs and received just one carry for five yards.
The veteran back spent the five previous seasons with the Packers.
What It Means
With the duo of James Starks and Alex Green averaging just over three yards per carry this season and the team averaging just 105 yards on the ground per game (20th in the NFL), it was the right time for the Packers to bring Grant back.
And with Starks recently suffering what Wilde reported could be a season-ending injury, this pickup was entirely necessary.
Not only does Grant have the knowledge and experience needed to be an effective running back in the complicated Green Bay offense, but also his fresh legs will be a welcome addition to a team needing a spark out of the backfield.
While there have always been injury concerns surrounding the 29-year-old running back, given that the Packers already put Cedric Benson on the shelf, Green Bay doesn't seem to have many other options at that position.
Green Bay has a tough remaining schedule—three of four remaining games in the NFC North—but fresh legs in the running game could be the spark the team needs to win out.
With key veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings starting to return to full health, the addition of Grant will return this Aaron Rodgers-led offensive unit to the prominence it found the last three seasons.
How the coaching staff integrates Grant into the RB rotation will determine just how successful the injury-depleted ground attack is.
Either way, signing Grant is a smart insurance policy as the playoffs approach.
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