Packers running back Ryan Grant needs surgery to correct a torn ligament in his ankle that will leave him riddled to crutches for 10-12 weeks, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Thus he will be out for the rest of the season as he will be placed on injured reserve.
Now with Grant, a 2010 pro bowl alternate, out for the rest of the season, what does this mean for the Packers?
The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported that Green Bay plans to sign rookie back Dmitri Nance off the practice squad of the Atlanta Falcons and he might receive some playing time. But the bulk of the carries will go to fourth year pro Brandon Jackson.
Jackson was a second round pick out of Nebraska in 2007 but did not show much when he was given playing time, which led to the emergence of Grant. But he has improved over the years to be a capable third down back with really good hands. On Sunday, he totaled 75 yards on 20 touches, nothing spectacular but played well.
Coach Mike McCarthy has a lot of confidence in Jackson and spoke about him some four weeks ago. "Brandon Jackson to me is an every-down back," McCarthy said. "(He) is a good special teams player, too. He's a complete football player, and if we had to play all three downs with him, I wouldn't even blink."
So I would not expect him to put up Grant-like production the rest of the year but he should be serviceable and not a noticeable weakness.
But McCarthy has always been a pass first play caller and that will not change at all. In fact he is likely to pass even more. Well when you're quarterback is Aaron Rodgers and your receiving corps include talented playmakers like Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, and tight end Jermichael Finley, how can you not throw the ball a bunch?
McCarthy and the Packers will rely on Rodger's arm possibly more than ever this season and if he takes a step back from last year's phenomenal season the Packers will not make the playoffs.