The Green Bay Packers will have two true running backs for Thursday night’s game against the Chicago Bears.
According to a league source, the Packers are promoting Don Jackson from the practice squad. Jackson, an undrafted rookie from Nevada, was released just before the start of training camp due to an injury but was added to the practice squad on Sept. 4. So, he did not play in the preseason.
Adding Jackson was the easy part. The hard part? The Packers will have to create a roster spot before making the Jackson signing official.
“It’s never, ‘Give me another running back.’ Or, ‘Give me another corner,’” coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday. “That is the chess match right there. If you’re talking about chess match in the game of football, it’s managing your roster.”
In Sunday’s loss to Dallas, the Packers got by with Eddie Lacy and receiver Ty Montgomery in the backfield. Playing on a bum ankle, Lacy carried 17 times for 65 yards against the Cowboys. He won't have much time to heal before Thursday. Montgomery didn’t do much as a running back — three carries for 6 yards and a fumble — but did add a career-high 10 receptions for 98 yards.
"I feel like I can do anything that’s asked of me," Montgomery said on Monday. "God would never place anything more than what I can handle. If it’s asked of me, I’m going to find a way to get it done."
The Packers took only two running backs into the regular season with Lacy and James Starks. Starks, however, sustained a knee injury during a team workout on Tuesday. Rather than playing on Sunday, he had surgery.
“Dr. (Pat) McKenzie felt very good about the surgery,” McCarthy said. “I can’t really give you a timeline but they feel it’s something quick, so it’ll definitely be on the front end of whatever the prognosis is.”
Jackson got to Green Bay from Nevada via a highway to hell. A former high school teacher figured he’d be dead or in prison by the time he was 17. Instead, after rushing for more than 2,000 yards during his final two seasons at Nevada, the Packers gave him a $5,000 signing bonus after the draft.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.