Cedric Benson: Packers return 'a couple weeks away'

Cedric Benson hopes to return to game action Dec. 16. That's when the Green Bay Packers face his former team -- the Chicago Bears.

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"I think we're still a little bit out from practicing, from putting on a cleat and pounding on it like that," Benson told ESPN Milwaukee. "I think we're still a couple of weeks away from that, but very close, very close.

"Kind of the way the doctor puts it to me all the time is regardless of anything, whether you could play tomorrow, you've still got three weeks where you can't play."

Benson was placed on injured reserve with a Lisfranc foot sprain he suffered against the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 7. Rules state he can return to practice after six weeks and to games after eight. He can practice next week and play Dec. 9 against the Detroit Lions.

"I'm very confident about saying I'll be back before the season's over," Benson said. "I think if I come back early, if I try to rush it, it can really affect me. So I think it's in my best interest as the team's as well and my contribution to the team to come back when it's ready to come back."

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Benson signed during training camp and had begun to get comfortable in the Packers offense when the injury occurred. He averaged 18.3 carries between Weeks 2-4. Benson was hurt Week 5. The Packers rank No. 23 in run offense. Alex Green replaced Benson, but was ineffective. James Starks started last week and ran 61 yards on 17 carries.

Benson was a nice addition to the offense, but the Packers are used to playing with minimal contributions from the run game. They'll be fine until his return.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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