The Packers placed an NFC-most 16 players on injured reserve during the regular season, among them starting running back Ryan Grant. Grant tore ligaments in his right ankle in Green Bay’s Week One win over Philadelphia, 27-20.
So it’s been nearly five months since the injury. Grant told NFL Network’s Albert Breer that he’s been fully healed for a month, which is good news in most respects but frustrating in others.
“I could play on Sunday,” said Grant. “Unfortunately.”
The Packers could’ve tried keeping Grant on the roster in hopes of a late-season return, as the Steelers did with defensive end Aaron Smith (triceps). With a 10- to 12-week timetable for return, however, G.M. Ted Thompson made the decision to end Grant’s season and turn the backfield over to Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn.
Since, rookie James Starks has emerged as Green Bay’s feature runner.
The question is begged as to whether Grant is in Thompson’s plans for 2011. Grant is due $5.25 million in salary and bonuses next season, but may have helped his chances of returning by staying with the team for his rehab. Many, if not most, injured players don’t do that.
“I’ve been up there in Green Bay for the most part, rehabbing,” said Grant, who recently turned 28. “Once I was not on crutches, once I was able to walk, I was on the sideline with the guys.
“They see my face and they know I’m riding with them, no matter what.”