30

August

Packers News: Team to work out Joe McKnight

Joe McKnight will work out for the Packers on Saturday morning.

Joe McKnight will work out for the Packers on Saturday morning.

Running back Joe McKnight, formerly of the New York Jets, announced via Twitter that he is headed to Green Bay.

(UPDATE: According to ProFootballTalk, citing multiple sources, McKnight is only in Green Bay for a tryout.)

McKnight, 25, was cut during the 75-man reduction last week, which makes the timing of the signing a little odd.  McKnight has been the backup running back and primary kick returner for the Jets since 2010 after being drafted in the 4th round by New York.  Overall, he’s returned nine punts with a 9.9 yard average (long of 25 yards) and 76 kick off returns with a 29.0 yard average (long of 107 yards).

One possible explanation for the Jets decision to cut McKnight have been a lingering concussion injury that McKnight suffered this offseason and a bizarre off-the-field incident involving twitter and the media.

As no corresponding moves or cuts have been made by the Packers as they work to get to the 53 man roster limit, it will be surprising to see how the Packers work McKnight unto their roster.  Perhaps most in danger of losing their spots are back up running backs James Starks, Alex Green and kick returner/wide receiver Jeremy Ross.

Rookie running back Johnathan Franklin might also be in danger of being cut, but that’s less likely considering his 4th-round draft status during the last draft.  Either way it’s a telling piece of information; the Packers are likely not happy with either their running back and/or their returner situation and are looking at other options.

This might be Thompson is just keeping his emergency list up to date or might be an indication that he’s not all that happy at running back and/or returner.

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Thomas Hobbes is a staff writer for Jersey Al’s AllGreenBayPackers.com.

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8

December

Ryan Grant Signing Makes Sense for Packers

Ryan Grant

Ryan Grant is the best option for the Green Bay Packers at this point.

When Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin broke the news this week that the Green Bay Packers were bringing back familiar veteran Ryan Grant, it quickly spread like wildfire across the internet. After choosing not to resign Grant in the offseason, the Packers made it clear that they were ready to move on. And to seemingly add insult to injury, Ted Thompson picked up free agent Cedric Benson during preseason to help boost their running back corps.

Now, it seems, we have come full circle. With the knee injury sustained by James Starks on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers became very thin at the position when looking at starting talent. It was obvious they needed to do something to again help the group out, and the signing of Ryan Grant was arguably the best option they had.

So after an offseason of speculating where Ryan Grant would end up, we find ourselves almost back where we began.

What I find a bit surprising, however, is the extremely mixed feedback from fans in regard to this signing. As I look across comments sections on blog posts and remarks on Twitter, it’s clear that people have very strong opinions about this move by Ted Thompson.

On Facebook, the 540 ESPN page even posted a fill-in-the-blank statement to get people’s opinions. It read: “The return of Ryan Grant is __________.” The comments made by fans were pretty stark: “desperate,” “awesome,” “necessary,” “boring,” “interesting,” “reasonable,” and even “a necessary evil.”

Does this speak to how fans feel about Ryan Grant, or does it speak more to how they feel about the situation the Packers have found themselves in? Either way, I have to disagree with anyone who says this was a bad move by Thompson.

First and foremost, Grant is someone who is extremely familiar with the Green Bay Packers offense. He made his debut with the team in 2007 and was the feature back until his ankle injury in the first game of 2010. Considering there are only four weeks left in the regular season, the Packers are serving themselves better by bringing in a player who won’t need much adjusting to the scheme. The next two games are arguably the most important for the Packers at this point, and Grant could conceivably play this Sunday if needed.