After Ryan Grant sustained a season-ending ankle injury against the Philadelphia Eagles in week 1, the Green Bay Packers are down to two tailbacks, one of which is the fullback. Should they trade for the Buffalo Bills Marshawn Lynch?
Ryan Grant has been one of the NFC’s most productive running backs. Despite playing for a pass-heavy offense, Grant has accumulated over 3,400 yards in his first three seasons after being acquired from the New York Giants in 2007. Entering 2010, he only missed one NFL game. This likely gave Ted Thompson the faith to carry only 2 legitimate running backs on the roster.
Marshawn Lynch is buried on the Buffalo Bills depth chart behind Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. At 24, he was a former teammate of Aaron Rodgers. The Packers were interested in him in the 2007 NFL Draft, would they be now?
Lynch was a 1,100 yard caliber rusher in his first two seasons before his personal problems got him benched in favor of Fred Jackson. After drafting C.J. Spiller this year, Lynch has had very limited playing opportunities. Rumors have swirled about potential trades. At Green Bay, he could compete for the starting tailback position. After Grant returns from his ankle injury, he’ll be 28. Lynch might have a chance to obtain the starting role permanently.
Lynch isn’t the type of player that Thompson would pursue, however. His troubled history would likely prevent Thompson from pursuing him, especially after the Johnny Jolly fiasco. He’s also averaged 4.0, 4.1, and 3.8 yards per carry in 3 seasons at Buffalo. Would he be that much of an upgrade over Brandon Jackson, or would his average increase after abandoning the Buffalo offensive line? Lynch is also injury prone.
Jackson has been serviceable as a reserve halfback and third down specialist in his 3 seasons. He’s not a home run threat, but he has averaged 3.6, 5.5, and 3.0 yards per carry, albeit 75 carries or fewer. With consistent playing time, he could become more than serviceable, and he’s already a better receiver than Grant. John Kuhn’s week 1 performance made him look like a potential short yardage back.
The Green Bay Packers are expected to sign Dimitri Nance from the Falcons practice squad in the upcoming days. They will also get James Stark back from the PUP in week 7. Brandon Jackson is in his fourth season in Mike McCarthy’s system and should be given an opportunity for the next few weeks before sacrificing any draft choices or players for Lynch.
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Ryan Grant ESPN Player Card. September 15, 2010. September 15, 2010.
Brandon Jackson ESPN Player Card, September 15, 2010. September 15, 2010.
Marshawn Lynch, ESPN Player Card, September 15, 2010. September 15, 2010.