Grant down but not quite out in Green Bay

Posted Aug. 26, 2011 @ 11:25 a.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

There have been rumors blowing in the Green Bay wind for a while now that RB Ryan Grant, who missed practically the entire 2010 season after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week One, could be sent packing this season. But with Grant agreeing to a $1 million pay cut in exchange for a fully guaranteed $2.5 million contract this season, the likelihood that he will stick around has grown stronger.

But we hear the likelihood that Grant will retain his customary featured role is a different story altogether, with second-year up-and-comer James Starks looking to be in position to steal Grant's thunder moving forward. In addition to Starks, who came on so strong down the stretch last season in a starter's role, word is explosive rookie Alex Green, newly re-signed John Kuhn and Dimitri Nance — who has had a great training camp and is making his presence felt more as a third-down back candidate with his impressive work in blitz pickup — might all relegate Grant to a lesser role.

We hear it still might be a bit premature to totally rule Grant out of the mix, however. Grant has been used sparingly so far in the preseason, but by all accounts, he looks to be in good shape and never really has excelled in practice. More importantly, Grant is still much more of a proven commodity than any of the other running backs on the team.

One other factor worth pondering is the possibility of Grant being traded. Granted, his $2.5 million guaranteed might be very difficult for a potential suitor to swallow, especially in a part-time role, which is what Grant would probably  take on with pretty much all of the teams in the league having settled on a No. 1 back by now. But if one of those supposed No. 1's suddenly suffered a serious injury, Grant certainly would be worth considering as a viable alternative.