Monday, October 8, 2012
Cedric Benson injury will force transition
By Kevin Seifert
In essence, the Green Bay Packers are back where they started.
They opened training camp with plans to use James Starks, Alex Green and Brandon Saine as their top three tailbacks, with John Kuhn serving as a swing fullback/tailback. And the news that Cedric Benson will miss at least eight weeks, and possibly the remainder season, because of a foot injury brings us back to that original arrangement.
Benson has a Lisfranc sprain of his foot, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, and will miss the season if doctors determine surgery is necessary. And even if Benson could be ready in eight weeks, there is no certainty that the Packers would keep his roster spot open that long.
There will be a significant transition period regardless. The Packers had handed Benson a near exclusive job out of training camp, and whoever replaces him will emerge from the shadows. According to Pro Football Focus, Benson has played 200 snaps this season. Green has 27 -- all but two after Benson's injury Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts -- and Saine has played only on special teams. Starks, meanwhile, has recovered from a turf toe injury he suffered in the preseason, but has been a healthy scratch the past two weeks.
As we've discussed a number of times Monday, the issue with the Packers is as much as whether they run the ball as it is who. It doesn't matter whom the Packers have lined up behind quarterback Aaron Rodgers if they don't strike a balance in their playcalling.