The Green Bay Packers have been burned by injuries on the field throughout 2012. The list of ailing players is depressing: Desmond Bishop, Bryan Bulaga, Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, Cedric Benson, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, D.J. Smith, Sam Shields, Nick Perry, James Starks. All have missed multiple games or been placed on injured reserve.
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The Packers protected their pocketbooks when signing veteran running back Ryan Grant this week after Starks went down. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Bob McGinn reported Grant had to sign a split contract that pays the minimum base salary of $700,000 but is reduced to $368,000 if he ends up on injured reserve.
Grant missed all but one game of the Super Bowl-winning season in 2010 with an ankle injury and never really reclaimed his job in the Packers' backfield. The team elected not to re-sign Grant after the 2011 season. He worked out for several teams in 2012 and had a short stint with the Washington Redskins, playing one game, but he was available when the Packers called.
Split one-year deals are commonly used with first and second-year players, but who can blame the Packers for being cautious with Grant's history and the way the team has been ravaged this season?