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Cedric Benson placed on injured reserve by Packers

Green Bay Packers running back Cedric Benson was placed on injured reserve Wednesday, but he isn't done for the year.

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Benson received the "designated to return" tag in hopes that his sprained left foot will heal in time for Green Bay's stretch run.

Benson was hurt during Sunday's loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and now he must sit out eight games. He's eligible to play in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions.

"We feel that he can come back," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday, per The Associated Press. "A foot sprain is definitely a tough injury to come back from, but within that time frame, we feel that he definitely has a chance. ... He's a true pro. He's been excellent. He spends a lot of time in the weight room. I could see him being one of those guys that comes back and plays the last four weeks of the season."

The Packers opened the year viewed as a lock for the postseason, but we've seen weaknesses during their 2-3 start. This offense melted opponents last season but now ranks 21st. That plummet that has something to do with an offensive line that has struggled to protect Aaron Rodgers.

Benson wasn't an ideal addition -- his finest days have passed -- but losing your best back doesn't help sell the ground game in play-action. Teams had to account for Benson. James Starks, Alex Green and Brandon Saine don't exactly strike fear into the heart. Foes will key on the pass without fail.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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