Ryan Grant Could Still Be the Green Bay Packers' Feature Running Back

J FCorrespondent IAugust 21, 2011

What was projected as one of the hottest position battles heading into Green Bay Packers camp hasn't quite lived up to expectations.

After crawling through most of last season without a feature back, the Pack have now found themselves with two solid starters who will have to compete for carries or just simply share the love.

However, following the team's first two preseason contests, little has been revealed about who is coming out on top between second-year James Starks and the returning Ryan Grant.

Many people thought Starks would steal the starting spot after his exceptional playoff explosion, but Mike McCarthy and Grant have made it clear that the veteran is still No. 1 on the depth chart.

Starks showed promise and seemed to cement himself as the Pack's feature back of the near future in the minds of many, but it may be later rather than sooner if he does happen to take that role.

Grant claims he is coming back as good as ever from his ankle injury and has looked good so far this preseason with eight carries for 36 yards. He looks to get the majority of the carries, especially now that Starks is not practicing due to an ankle injury.

However, no matter how soon his threatening backup returns, Grant could still carry the load in Green Bay for a few more years. He will be a free agent in 2012, but if he manages to gain another 1,200-plus yards this season, a new three-year contract wouldn't be out of the question.

Grant is 28 years old and could crank out several solid seasons if the 25-year-old Starks doesn't surpass him and he can put his injuries behind him. It would even help his longevity if his backups could lessen the load.

For those who thought Grant wouldn't play another down in Green Bay, don't be surprised if he finishes his career in Titletown at the top of the depth chart.

Sources: Rotoworld.com, ESPN