It has been 2.5 games since Packers starting running back Ryan Grant was lost for the season to a serious ankle injury.
If former Packers No. 25 running back Dorsey Levens' career, after suffering the same injury, is any indication of Grant's future, he may never fully recover. Levens was never able to regain his pre-injury form, and never threatened the 1,000-yard mark again in his career.
We now know that the combination of former second-round pick Brandon Jackson, who is much better suited for the role of backup/third-down back, and fullback turned halfback John Kuhn is not going to cut it if the Packers are to be serious Super Bowl contenders in 2010.
Despite the immense talent of Aaron Rodgers and his All-Star cast of receivers and tight ends, a one-dimensional offense, no matter how good, is too easily defended by good defenses and smart defensive coordinators, of which the NFL is full.
Kuhn has run for a respectable average, 4.82 yards per carry, proving that, perhaps, he deserves a few carries a game as a situational or change-of-pace option. But he is certainly not feature back material.
Kuhn has been much better than Jackson, who, it seems, has reverted back to the tentative runner he was as the starter for the first three games of his rookie season in 2007 before he was sidelined by a shin injury.
Against the Bears, Jackson had seven carries for just 12 yards, with 11 of those coming on one carry. Since becoming the starter, he has rushed for a total of 41 yards on 18 carries for an average of 2.27 yards per carry.
That is simply not good enough.
Even if you add in the 18 carries and 63 yards he rushed for after Grant was injured against the Eagles, by far Jackson's best game of the season, so far he still is only averaging 2.88 yards per carry on 36 rushes for 104 yards.
Packers General Manager Ted Thompson needs to act now, before it's too late. He needs to go against his modus operandi of building through the draft almost exclusively and trade one of his coveted draft picks for Buffalo running back Marshawn Lynch.
The former college teammate of Aaron Rodgers is on the trade block, and could be had for a third-round pick, a fair price to pay for the feature back your team needs to have its best opportunity to make a deep playoff run.
There has been some talk of a player-for-player trade sending linebacker A.J. Hawk to Buffalo for Lynch. I do not think that would be a smart move for the Packers, as they would be neglecting depth at one position to create it at another.
They would, as a result, be in a similar position if an injury to a linebacker were to occur.
Lynch has rushed 33 times for 156 yards this season, an average of 4.7 yards per carry, including 17 carries for 68 yards against the Packers' strong rushing defense.
He only has one reception for seven yards, as he is not a very good receiver out of the backfield at this stage in his career. However, with the Packers, he wouldn't need to be, as his acquisition would allow Brandon Jackson to return to the third-down back role.
There, he has shown he is a valuable option for Rodgers out of the backfield and a reliable blocker in blitz pickup.
This is just Lynch's fourth season in the NFL, and he is still young at only 24. This means Thompson could be acquiring not just a stop-gap back for this season, but the Packers' feature back of the future.
That's something the organization would be wise to take into consideration sooner than later, as Ryan Grant's recovery is a huge question mark at this point.
If Ted Thompson can make a trade for a third-round pick, that could be the move that puts Green Bay in Dallas at the end of the season.
It is his duty to do so. As an NFL general manager, you have to be willing to take a shot on the deep ball once in a while, instead of taking the check down every time.
Pull the trigger, Ted.
It will feel great at the end of the year, when this move is looked back at as the one that brought the Lombardi Trophy back to Titletown.
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