What the Signing of Ryan Grant Means for the Green Bay Packers

Eric EvansCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2012

Jan 15, 2012; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant (25) in the second half of the 2011 NFC divisional playoff game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field. The Giants won 37-20. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers wasted little time plugging in a replacement for the injured James Starks Wednesday morning when they agreed to a contract with former Packers running back Ryan Grant.

Grant spent six seasons in Green Bay, racking up 4,016 yards with 25 touchdowns for the Packers. Grant was not re-signed by the Packers after last season and went on to sign with the Redskins. Grant played in one game for the Redskins, carrying the ball one time for five yards. He was later cut in Week 7.

The signing of Grant makes a lot of sense and should come to little surprise to Packers fans.

First, Grant is familiar with the playbook and the organization. This is incredibly important given the point in the season that is occurring.

A new face would take much longer to acclimate to his new surroundings than a former member of the organization would. Most of the players on the Packers offense have played with Grant, so chemistry should not be an issue with the addition.

In terms of the football side of things, Grant brings a strong, downhill-style running approach that will be an asset to the offense.

Although Grant is almost 30 years old, he has very little mileage on him compared to other players his age. Grant has had a few seasons that he was hurt that have helped keep his carries down.

Perhaps the most important asset that Grant brings to the Packers is his pass protection. Grant has done a good job in his career in blitz pickup, something that is badly needed given the current state of the Packers offensive line.

Grant is also a productive receiver out of the backfield and excellent at running screen plays.

With all that Ryan Grant can bring to the Packers as they gear up for a playoff run, perhaps the most surprising thing about this signing is that Ted Thompson didn't do it sooner.