- Kevin Seifert, NFL Nation
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Based on coach Mike McCarthy's news conference Monday, the Packers' biggest concern at the moment is the number of injured running backs on their roster. McCarthy ended practice 20 minutes early Monday after John Kuhn sprained his ankle, leaving them without three of the top four runners on their depth chart.
So from one standpoint, Benson is simply a healthy and fresh body the Packers can eventually add to the mix. First, however, he must ease into practice over the next three days, per NFL rules, and he won't play in Thursday's preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.
"I had a chance to view his workout the other day," McCarthy said. "We felt he is in shape and his weight and everything looks to be intact. We'll have a better idea when we get him on the practice field."
McCarthy was clearly uncomfortable discussing the decision to sign Benson over longtime veteran Ryan Grant, an issue we delved into Sunday. The closest he came to discussing the substance of the move came in this comment:
"Cedric Benson is a good fit for us. He's been a very productive running back. He's played in a one-back system the past three years. And it's clearly evident that we've evolved more to a one-back system as a starting point for the way we play. I think he's a good fit for our football team. I'm excited that he's here."
One question has been left unanswered for now: Have the Packers given up on the idea of James Starks as a lead runner? Starks is dealing with a turf toe and has never been reliable when it comes to his injury history. Again, I don't think the Packers have made that call yet, and I don't think they've committed a thing yet to Benson. But the opportunity eventually will be there if Benson can grab it.
I promised to pass along any context the Green Bay Packers might provide about their signing of free agent tailback Cedric Benson, and I'm a blogger of my word.