Packers rush to insurance policy

With their only healthy running back being a player who hasn't rushed the ball since the 2002 season, the Green Bay Packers were forced to turn to the waiver wire to make sure there's at least one healthy runner available for Monday night.

Highlighting a series of transactions Tuesday, Green Bay signed former Cleveland Browns starter James Jackson. To make room for Jackson on the 53-player roster, the Packers waived linebacker Nick Rogers for the second time this year.

Meanwhile, the Packers shuffled their practice squad by re-signing wide receiver Kelvin Kight and running back Chris Robertson and waiving safety David Young. Kight was on the active roster until Saturday, when he was released to make room for running back Walter Williams.

A high-ankle sprain suffered Sunday night by Williams, along with injuries to Ahman Green, Najeh Davenport and Nick Luchey, necessitated the signing of Jackson.

Jackson was Cleveland's third-round pick in the 2001 draft. During his days with the Browns, he started 16 times and played in 43 games, compiling 321 rushes, 1,071 yards and five touchdowns. He added 30 receptions for 201 yards.

His days as a starter, however, ended when Cleveland made William Green its first-round pick last year. Jackson was released Nov. 16 after playing in four games this season. He fell into coach Butch Davis's doghouse and rushed only 12 times for 81 yards and added six catches for 22 yards this season.

Jackson (5-10, 215) was a teammate at the University of Miami with Davenport. With the Hurricanes, Jackson rushed for 2,953 yards, which ranks third in school history.

If neither Green nor Williams can play and Davenport's injured hamstring hasn't completely healed — he hasn't played since Oct. 24 — then the addition of Jackson would take some of the load off Fisher, who the Packers prefer to use in a third-down role.

The Packers love using Fisher in a reserve role so much that Williams was the first running back off the bench when Green was injured. He delivered a 28-yard run, which was twice as many yards as Fisher gained on seven rushes.

By the end of Sunday's game, only Fisher — who continued playing despite suffering a stringer — and starting fullback William Henderson were healthy. Henderson hasn't rushed the ball since the 2002 season, though he is a dependable safety valve in the passing game.

Robertson (6-1, 233) played at the University of Houston. His senior season, 2002, ended with a torn ACL in his right knee and started late after suffering an injury to the same knee during the spring intrasquad game. Before the injuries, he was considered an explosive runner with good hands and big-time speed. He has not played an NFL down.


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