Green Bay Packers: Is Ryan Grant the Answer for the Running Game?

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIDecember 29, 2012

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 23: Ryan Grant #25 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates a touchdown against theTennessee Titans at Lambeau Field on December 23, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Tom Lynn /Getty Images)
Tom Lynn/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers are well have clinched the NFC North, and are on the verge of clinching a first round bye as the season ends.

The Packers are hoping to make another Super Bowl run this year. They are one of the hottest teams in the NFL right now, winning nine of their last ten games.

As the Packers have continued to win, the injuries have continued to pile up. While players like Clay Matthews and Greg Jennings have finally returned, other players are still missing.

What the Packers have truly had problems with is keeping their running backs healthy.

Cedric Benson went down against the Indianapolis Colts earlier in the year and was placed on injured reserve due to a Lisfranc injury. With their starter out, the Packers had to call upon Alex Green and James Starks.

Unfortunately, both struggled to produce early on, causing Aaron Rodgers to pass more than the team would like him to. After a few weeks, however, the running game was beginning to improve.

Then James Starks got hurt.

Starks suffered a knee injury that has caused him to miss the past few weeks. With the injury to Starks, the Packers made a big decision.

They brought back Ryan Grant.

Grant was the starting running back for the Packers for several years. He had two straight seasons of over 1,200 yards rushing before breaking his ankle in the first game of the 2010 season against the Philadelphia Eagles

Grant struggled the next year to get back to his old ways, and was cut before the start of this season.  Now, Grant is back and looking to prove himself again.

So far, Grant has shown that he belongs back on this team. In 29 carries with the Packers, he has run for 125 yards and two scores. The two scores came last week in a blowout win against the Tennessee Titans. His explosiveness has shown once again as he has broken some big runs in games.

Grant was the last consistent running back for the Packers since the days of Ahman Green. His consistency was a big help for Rodgers as he was still developing to become an elite passer. With his return, the Packers could once again have a consistent option in the backfield.

Green and fellow back DuJuan Harris will still be getting carries, but the return of Grant will be a big lift for this team. As the postseason begins, the Packers could begin to trust Grant more and more. 

If Grant can continue to be a consistent option, things will open up in the passing game as well. If he can do this like Starks did in 2010, the Packers could find themselves winning another Super Bowl.