Green Bay Packers  

 

Will Grant be the one-and-only runner in Title Town?

  • By Jim Gigliotti Special to NFL.com
More Columns >
Joe Nicholson/US Presswire
Ryan Grant's feature-back days appear numbered after the Pack unearthed a stable of talented runners in 2010.


Will Ryan Grant reclaim his role as the true featured back in Green Bay?

Quick, name the two players to share the Packers' team lead with four rushing touchdowns last season.

We'll give you a second.

Okay, you're a certifiable Cheesehead if you correctly answered Aaron Rodgers and John Kuhn.

In addition, the club's top three ground gainers last year were Brandon Jackson, Rodgers and Kuhn. And none of those players made the big gains on the ground in the postseason, when James Starks emerged as the team's top presence.

So if ever the Packers wondered how they would fare without the services of a true featured back, they sure found out. They won a Super Bowl championship, that's all.

That's why you can expect to see more of the same from the Packers this year. It's no secret that they'll rely first on an explosive passing offense. When they turn to the run, they know they can count on a bevy of different backs to get the job done. The most intriguing option is Starks, a rookie from Buffalo who hadn't played in nearly two full calendar years before getting his feet wet late in the regular season, then rushing for 315 yards in four postseason games.

Starks' injury history makes him a long shot to be an every-down back, as does the return of veteran Ryan Grant. A 1,253-yard rusher in 2009, Grant injured his ankle on Kickoff Weekend last year and missed the rest of the season.

Grant enters the final year of his contract this season. While that might give him a little extra incentive to earn a new deal -- if not in Green Bay, then somewhere else -- it also gives the Packers a little extra incentive to see if Starks can handle more of the workload going forward.

In the end, we wouldn't be surprised to see Grant bounce back and lead the team in rushing. But chances are, the yards and the carries are going to be spread around.

Because it worked last year. And if ain't broke, don't fix it.

Bottom Line: Ryan Grant's fantasy value takes a hit because he won't be a true featured back.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15