Cedric Benson: Setting Odds of RB Returning to Green Bay Packers in 2013

Nick KostoraContributor IIINovember 29, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 30:  Running back Cedric Benson #32 of the Green Bay Packers carries the ball in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field on September 30, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Saints 28-27.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Cedric Benson will remain on the injured reserve list for the rest of the season after having surgery Wednesday on his injured left foot.

Benson is scheduled to become a free agent in 2013 and the next logical question is if he will continue calling Lambeau Field home on Sunday afternoons. After all, his 2012 experiment with the Green Bay Packers was not exactly a resounding success.

Benson played in just five games before going down due to injury. He was largely unimpressive in those contests, rushing for 248 yards on 71 carries and only scoring one touchdown.

Green Bay has been desperately searching for a running game the past few seasons, and Benson was supposed to provide some balance to the offense. After he was sidelined, the Packers turned to the platoon of John Kuhn, Alex Green and James Starks.

The fact that none of those guys have impressed in Benson's absence has to at least open the door to a possible Benson return, as only Green has more than 300 yards rushing and none of them are averaging more than 3.5 yards per carry.

The problem is that Benson is now a 30-year-old back coming off serious surgery. Why would the Packers again put their stock into a player that failed them when healthy?

Yes, he joined the team in August and had little time to adjust to the offensive scheme or game plan, but he failed to improve at all in his five games of action. Benson did not rush for more than 84 yards in any contest this season and did not assert himself as a serious upgrade over the younger guys on the depth chart.

Green Bay was expecting to acquire the player that had three consecutive 1,000 yard seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Instead they got something closer to the disappointment from Benson's early Chicago years.

It may not be completely fair to write Benson off after a mere five games with Green Bay, but that is the nature of today's NFL. The Packers took a waiver on an aging running back, and the gamble did not pay off.

Now, Benson is damaged goods who may never return to Pro-Bowl form. Green and Starks have struggled this season, but they are both younger players with more upside. If the Packers feel they need to go in a completely new direction then the draft and free agency are always options as well.

However, the odds of Benson donning the Green and Yellow next season are extremely low.


Final Odds: 50-1