Packers could suffer with Grant on I.R.

Posted Sept. 13, 2010 @ 3:20 p.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

Updated Sept. 14, 2010 @ 4:21 p.m. ET

While the Packers managed to thwart a spirited Eagles comeback effort spearheaded by backup QB Michael Vick, they could not avoid the dreaded injury bug in their season-opening victory over Philadelpia, as starting RB Ryan Grant was stung with a "significant" right ankle injury. Grant, who had not missed a start since becoming Green Bay's featured back in November 2007, was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday.

The PFW Spin

If the season opener was any indication, it appeared the Packers might be able to get by sufficiently enough without Grant — at least for the short term. In Grant's place Sunday, both backup RB Brandon Jackson and FB John Kuhn, who is in effect considered the team's No. 3 back, performed effectively. Jackson had 18 carries for 63 yards and Kuhn pitched in with two carries for 15 yards and a TD, raising a triumphant fist after his score.  

That said, there's no denying the Packers are a lot better off with Grant, an underrated performer coming off a very respectable season (1,253 rushing yards and 11 TDs). Often overshadowed by the team's high-powered passing game, Grant proved to be a tough, durable mainstay in the Packers' offense. It also appeared he was just starting to get his game in high gear in Week One when he went down for the count at the end of a good-looking 18-yard run. After throwing the ball on 11 of the first 14 plays, the Packers were just starting to incorporate Grant into the offensive mix when Eagles S Quintin Mikell tackled him from behind and sent him limping to the sideline.

There were two other noteworthy injuries in Week One. DRE Cullen Jenkins broke his left hand on the game's first series and played the rest of the game with his hand heavily bandaged. Fellow defensive end and former first-round draft pick Justin Harrell wasn't as lucky, however, tearing an ACL that landed the brittle former first-round draft pick on injured reserve.  

"Justin has had a tough go from a medical standpoint," said McCarthy, stating the obvious. "I've seen players in this league have injuries in bunches and they're able to overcome them and go on and have a good career. Justin falls into that category."

Truth be told, though, Harrell has been a virtual nonfactor for Green Bay, sitting out 36 of a possible 51 games the past three seasons because of back problems.