According to various reports, the Packers are kicking the tires on veteran running back Brian Westbrook. There are many concerns surrounding Westbrook, including his lingering knee and ankle injuries and the concussions that ended his regular season with five games left in 2009.
So with those things in mind, is it worth it to sign the nine-year veteran? I think so and I am guessing I'm not alone.
The third down back in Green Bay is Brandon Jackson, a second round pick from the 2007 draft. While he has been serviceable, he is no where near the producer that Westbrook has been. Let's compare some stats.
Jackson's career stat line looks like this: 157 attempts for 626 yards and average of 4 yards per carry. As a receiver, he has caught 67 passes for 502 yards, an average of 7.5 yards per catch with a long of 18 yards and 1 receiving TD. Jackson has been a backup his whole career and only semi effective as a third down back.
Now lets look at Westbrook, albeit he has been a starter for most of his career.
Westbrook has carried the ball 1,308 times for 5,995 yards, an average of 4.6 yards per carry. Receiving-wise, he has caught 426 passes for 3,790 yards, an average of 8.9 yards per catch and a long of 62 and 29 receiving TDs.
Their careers have taken different routes, considering Jackson has never been more than a backup and Westbrook has been a starter. That said, the receiving numbers really pop on Westbrook's line and that's why he could be a legit third down back in Green Bay, albeit at the right price.