The team reported the news via its Twitter, noting that this does not mean that Benson’s season is over.
McCarthy: Cedric Benson has been placed on Injured Reserve, but on new list where he can return. Practice after 6 wks, 8 weeks out. #packers—Green Bay Packers (@packers) October 10, 2012
Under the old rules, Benson would have missed the entire season. But now, teams can designate one player to return to the field under the time frame mentioned in the Packers’ tweet.
The loss will be a serious blow to the Green Bay offense, which had already been struggling. Benson had received 71 carries and gained 248 yards while scoring one touchdown.
While he was not consistently effective and has averaged just 3.5 yards per carry, his hard-nosed running was able to provide the team’s offense with a balanced attack at times this season.
Now, the Packers will turn to Alex Green and James Starks to carry the ball.
Green is in his second season out of Hawaii, but carried the ball just three times last season before his year ended due to a knee injury. He is a speedy back who excels as a receiver, but is unproven in the NFL.
Starks was ultimately disappointing last season, carrying the ball 133 times for 578 yards and one touchdown. He has still not equaled the form he was in during the team’s Super Bowl run in 2010.
There will be questions at the running back position for the Packers until one of these players steps up or Benson returns.