Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 Sep 2010

Ryan Grant Out For Year?

Jay Glazer's reporting that Packers running back Ryan Grant is done for the season with "severe" ankle and leg injuries.

If it's true, Brandon Jackson becomes a huge waiver wire addition, with John Kuhn even in the running for goal line carries.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 14 Sep 2010

59 comments, Last at 16 Sep 2010, 2:36pm by MCS


by Key19 :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:19pm

Steve Wyche of NFLN confirms. Wow. Just wow.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:23pm

The Vikings started out with the lead in the NFC North Injury Lottery, but the Packers may have caught up quickly.

by cisforcookie (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:23pm

is it just me, or are the packers suddenly on the lookout to trade for a starting RB from someone? brandon jackson doesn't look like the answer for a team with super bowl aspirations. marshawn lynch perhaps?

by Flounder :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:27pm

Maybe they'd entertain a trade after the Buffalo game, but frankly I doubt it. Being in a relatively weak bargaining position, GB would have to give up a decent draft pick, and that is not the Ted Thompson way.

Jackson is an OK player, and I even think there's a chance (25%) that, given a few weeks to get used to the starting role, Jackson could be equally effective.

by Eddo :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:31pm

I don't know; Grant always seemed like a beneficiary of opportunity, rather than any dynamic ability he had. And Jackson looked nearly as good against the Eagles. I think this will have a relatively light effect on the Packers' offense.

by Flounder :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:41pm

Jackson isn't as good as Grant at choosing the hole and making the decisive "one cut and go" that zone blocking schemes envision, but he does have more ability to break tackles, and is a better receiver. I'm hoping now that he's starting that he can develop more decisive cuts.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:42pm

I think the larger concern is that Jackson has never been a notably durable guy, and now he shoulders most of the load.

by tuluse :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:04pm

I've never been a Grant fan. I think he's a marginal starter who benefits from an offense that scares the crap out of defenses with their quick strike potential.

However, having two marginal starters is better than one, right?

by tally :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:37pm

Is it just me, or are the packers suddenly on the lookout to trade for a starting RB from someone? brandon jackson doesn't look like the answer for a team with super bowl aspirations. marshawn lynch perhaps?

Are you seriously suggesting Marshawn Lynch looks like the answer for a team with Super Bowl aspirations?

by tuluse :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:41pm

Do you really think he's that much worse than Grant?

Context matters, and Lynch has been on some terrible offenses.

by tally :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 7:53pm

He's suggesting that Lynch is the answer where Jackson isn't. It's not about whether Lynch is worse than Grant; I think the three are close enough not to matter in light of Green Bay's significant strengths in other areas.

by MCS :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 9:17am

Lynch is not "Green Bay Packer material". Playing for the Packers requires a certain attitiude. There is not a lot to do in Green Bay and you really need to buy into the football tradition that the city offers.

by Dean :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 10:57am

Was Mossy Cade "Green Bay Packer Material?" What about Mark Chimura?

by MCS :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 11:32am

Did I say anything about a criminal past? I talked about boredom and football tradition.

But, since you brought it up. Cade was no longer on the roster when he was convicted. Chmura was no longer on the roster when he as acquitted. Eugene Robinson? Off the roster before his Super Bowl arrest. James Lofton? Accused of rape (not even convicted) and then released. Johnny Jolly? Still on the roster.

by Dean :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 11:52am

"Cade was no longer on the roster when he was convicted." Sure. But he was on the roster when the incident happened. Chmura was still on the roster when his case came up. Even though he was acquitted, he himself referred to it as "not something a married man should do."

Every team has guys like this. The Packers aren't somehow magically above it.

So how is Lynch "not Packer material?"

by dryheat :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 1:04pm

I assume that the point was that Marshawn seemed to be unhappy in "small town" Buffalo, which is considerably more urban (not meant as a code word here) than Green Bay.

by MCS :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 2:21pm

Thank you Dryheat.

by Chocolate City (not verified) :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 11:30am

As a Bear fan, I always assumed those guys were REAL Packers, and guys like Reggie White were aberrations.

Really, they would have fit in even better in Minnesota.

by Will Allen :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 2:04pm

Now, now, what is performing a sex act on a stripper, compared to doing time in the Cook County Jail, for having an illegal weapons cache? Other than being less hygenic, obviously?

by Marko :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 3:30pm

It's good to know I wasn't the only one who immediately thought of Mossy Cade and Mark Chmura after reading MCS's comment above.

by TBW (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:24pm

It looked bad when it happened, his foot looked like to was at a 90 degree angle sideways to the rest of his leg, quite frankly I thought it looked worse than Weaver's injury.

by shah8 (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:28pm

NFL needs to get serious about field conditions and hold people accountable when it is dangerous. We can't be having these kinds of season/career ending injuries happening on torn up fields...

by Arkaein :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:35pm

I don't think the field can be blamed, even if it was a bit worn. Grant's ankle simply got caught between the ground and the tackler's legs.

Same with Weavers injury. Player wear spikes to gain traction, but that traction also makes it easier to suffer a leg injury when the foot can't slide away from the force of a tackle.

If we had seen a bunch of groin injuries in that game then I'd agree that the field was a likely culprit.

by MCS :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 9:18am

Maybe the worn field led to longer spikes for the sloppy sections. If the injury occurred in the non-torn up portion of the field, the spike would have more bite depth and grab too well.

Just a thought.

by Marko :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:13pm

I completely agree with the need to get serious about field conditions, but from my casual viewing it didn't seem like this injury was caused by the field condition. It seemed that it was caused by someone falling on the back of his leg while he was being tackled.

"If it's true, Brandon Jackson becomes a huge waiver wire addition, with John Kuhn even in the running for goal line carries."

Am I the only one who hates the fact that fantasy football has become so popular that this is the first thought of many people? Why isn't the first thought "How does this affect the Packers this year?" Forget fantasy football; let's focus on the impact on ACTUAL football.

by tally :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:36pm

More people play FF than are Packers or NFC North fans.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:46pm

I don't think the popularity of FF was being disputed; I believe the sentiment was displeasure that so many people care more about FF than they do about the outcomes of the real games. I played FF back in the Stone Age, the early 80s, with significant sums of money at stake. It was fun and profitable, but I grew tired of it, as I became more interested in the intellectual question of what went into winning the games, as opposed to what made "stars". It's been kind of interesting to me to watch FF explode over the last decade or so, as I have become less and less interested in it. Mind you, it doesn't irritate me, I just completely tune out when people start talking or writing about FF.

by Eddo :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 4:32pm

That's a good attitude, Will. I'm not sure why people get irritated with fantasy football, as, ultimately, caring about fantasy football and caring about NFL football are really equally trivial. They're both simply recreational activities.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:06pm

Well, if somebody seriously gets mad about football, in terms of the outcomes, whether they be team centered or individual player centered, they need to acquaint themselves with life. If they are mad about losing money, then they need to stop gambling.

I really like football because it doesn't matter.

by Eddo :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:49pm

Me too, Will. Good sentiments all around.

by SamWyatt (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:43pm

My only problem with fantasy vs. the actual games is when either side insists that a productive player in one realm is always a productive player on the other side.
Not all players make good fantasy players and not all fantasy players are stars on the actual field.

by Eddo :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:49pm

That's reasonable. And I think most people who visit FO regularly know enough to make that distinction.

by SamWyatt (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 7:35pm

Absolutely. Just another in the list of reasons why I frequent this site

by David :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:49pm

Speaking as a niners fan, I'm grateful for the opportunity to focus *away* from ACTUAL football

by Joe T. :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 4:02pm

Agreed - I stopped playing fantasy because I'm a fan of football as a team game.

by tally :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 7:55pm

Right, because your way of enjoying football is better than ours.

by dryheat :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:33pm

And this fantasy season held such promise.

by Arkaein :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:38pm

I said in Audibles at the line that Jackson could play about as well as Grant and had mainly been held back by injuries, and not inability, in his career.

We'll see if I'm right. Hopefully he can perform to his potential while having a career year in terms of health. Some offseason reports said that he improved his offseason eating and exercise habits, hopefully that pays off for him.

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:41pm

Jacksob good. So Pack shouldbe okay.

by tally :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:39pm

Jacksob = pure win

by Fontes of Wayne :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:46pm

The continuing updates on Grant have been brilliant. These are from rotoworld, but I assume most places have a similar progression.

Grant limped to the sidelines, but will return.
Grant will not return to the game.
Grant is in a walking boot, but the injury does not appear overly serious.
McCarthy says it will be a "challenge" for Grant to play in week 2.
Grant says he does not plan to miss week 2.
Grant will miss week 2.
Grant may miss more than just one week.
Grant is done for the year.

I will not be surprised if we hear tomorrow that Grant actually died shortly after the game.

by Will Allen :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 2:51pm

Look at the bright side; for people of the Hindu persuasion, by Thursday, he might be reincarnated as Marion Motley!

by Willsy :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:42pm

Or the brother of Purple Jesus who has fly paper skin on his hands.


by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 3:45pm

John Kuhn is a favorite of McCarthy and the reason the team kept three 'fullbacks'. Kuhn will get his share of carries as a 250 lb. running back.

by ammek :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:03pm

Yes, the decision to keep 2 RBs, 3 FBs and 4 TEs seemed to invite an injury to a halfback. The 'extra' tight end, Tom Crabtree, was horrible in the four or five packages they ran with him, although he did do some trash talking with Trent Cole. (Congratulations, Tom.) Crabtree took the roster spot from a third RB, the excellently named Kregg Lumpkin, who was claimed by Tampa on waivers. Lumpkin had been with the Packers for a couple of seasons, and would have been a reasonable backup at this point.

I don't think Kuhn will get more than three or four carries a game, mostly in short-yardage situations or on draws. The big question is: what happens if Jackson gets gassed or picks up a knock?

by tuluse :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 9:39pm

The other Adrian Peterson might not be a bad pick up. He can block, catch, run, and play special teams. Sure he only does the last one really well, but beggars can't be choosers.

by Joe T. :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 4:04pm

Landing spot for Slow Willie Parker?

Did Grant have a lot of blocking responsibility?

I hear Samkon Gado is available.

by Theo :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:13pm

Good call, but he's on the Titans already.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 8:08pm

No, he was with the Titans in pre-season, but didn't make the final roster. Pretty sure he's still available - and with good reason: dude freakin' sucks.

by Yuri (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 4:13pm

So, from the PHI-GB opener, we now have 4 players on IR and 2 concussions. Not sure about the Packers, but the other Eagles barely survived, and it does not look good going forward. In addition to the 4 high-profile injuries, Andy Reid listed Barnes, Bell, Bunkley, H-dog (Herremans), Laws and Peters on the Monday injury update.

I now pretty much expect an injury that would do in Jason Peters, who keeps missing snaps here and there and still somehow manages to get back in the game. Michael Vick, in my opinion, can survive at most 2 full games where he gets clobbered on half the plays before he is out for the season. DeSean Jackson was lucky he did not get to catch many passes or he would have been on the injury report.

by Arkaein :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:19pm

Throw in Cullen Jenkins' broken hand for good measure. Tough to believe that he got off easy compared to his (big? little? can't remember, they're both big) brother Kris.

Ironically, a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article before the game talked about how good the relative health of the two teams were. Philly in particular did not have a single player on the injury report going into Sunday.

by PatsFan :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:31pm

Wonder if NE talked to GB about a trade before shipping Maroney to DEN...

by Flounder :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 5:59pm

GB signed a RB off of Atlanta's practice squad.


by evenchunkiermonkey (not verified) :: Tue, 09/14/2010 - 9:47pm

james starks comes off the PUP list week 6 too


by justanothersteve :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 8:15am

Starks is eligible to come off the PUP list then. No guarantees he will be healthy enough to play. I wouldn't count on it. I have a feeling (based on history) he will be another of those "really good if he could stay healthy" players. Like Harrell. I'm another who wouldn't mind it if they did sign the other Adrian Peterson either. He's average, but consistant. He may even be better than anyone thinks. He did play in some pretty sucky Bears offenses the last few years and didn't look bad when they had a decent running attack a few years back.

by MCS :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 9:26am

2009 Green Bay Packers Offensive DVOA
1st Down 6.7%
2nd Down 14.0%
3rd Down 70.8%
Source: FOA 2010 pg 101

Is there any correlation between the 2009 Packers' third down DVOA and the personnel package? Meaning Green Bay was significantly better on third down than they were on first and second down. Grant was "usually" on the field for first and second down while Jackson was the the third down back.

The next question is whether there is causation.

by tally :: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 10:48pm

Looking at the breakdowns in the Premium database, GB is 2nd overall on 3rd and every distance. A different team was ranked first on 3rd and short, 3rd and mid, 3rd and long, but no team was close to GB at every distance. This leads me to believe that GB was successful with a variety of personnel packages.

by tuluse :: Thu, 09/16/2010 - 12:01am

I think it's more likely they used their best plays on 3rd down, and used more setup plays or tried things out on 1st and 2nd down.

by MCS :: Thu, 09/16/2010 - 2:36pm

That certainly seems logical. I just noticed a coincidence there and wondered...