Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Grant's Injury Hurts Super Bowl Hopes

When I heard Mike McCarthy say that Ryan Grant had suffered a "significant" injury, I was immediately worried. McCarthy had said the same thing about Justin Harrell's injury one day before, and Harrell ended up being out for the season. It looks like Ryan Grant is going to suffer the same fate, as Jay Glazer has first reported that Grant's 2010 campaign is indeed over.

Since he was traded from the Giants to the Packers a few years ago for nothing more than a 6th round pick, Grant has become of the top backs in the league. He's not at the level of the premiere backs in the NFL ala Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson, but he is a quality runner who only gets better as the season goes on. Late in December and during a playoff run, there is no one more reliable than the workhorse that is Ryan Grant. Unfortunately now for the Packers, they are going to have to fill the running back position another way.

With Grant about to be placed on the IR, Brandon Jackson takes over immediately as the starter as he's really the only other running back on the roster. John Kuhn, a fullback, will be the second string back for now, but other than that this team has nobody to rush the ball. The only other back on the practice squad is James Johnson, as the Packers no longer have Kregg Lumpkin after he was claimed on waivers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I don't know how the hell Ted Thompson is going to fill this spot, as the best free agent back I can think of is Willie Parker. Who else is out there? I have no idea who is on the trading block as far as running backs are concerned, and it is going to be very interested to see how this roster spot is filled.

As for the Packers, Brandon Jackson has to step up and he has to do it now. McCarthy has the confidence that he can be an every down back, and to his credit Jackson looked very good in the second half of the opening week game against the Eagles. But what if he doesn't step up? What if he doesn't stay healthy either? The Packers are definitely going to be more reliant on Aaron Rodgers and the passing game this season than we thought they would be, and this was already a pass-first team. What does this do for our Super Bowl hopes? It certainly doesn't help, but suddenly Brandon Jackson is a lot more important to that happening than he was expected to be.


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