Running game stuck in neutral

Packers averaging just 77.8 yards per game

Two seasons removed from setting a franchise record with 2,558 rushing yards and averaging a whopping 159.9 yards per game, the Packers are mired near the bottom of the league rankings with a meager average of 77.8 yards per game.

"There's no question that's the No. 1 thing we've got to get fixed (before) the Vikings game," offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said, referring to an Oct. 23 matchup at NFC North rival Minnesota.

Until Najeh Davenport ripped off a 24-yard run in the 52-3 shellacking of New Orleans on Oct. 9, Favre had the team's longest run - 20 yards in the Week 2 loss to Cleveland. Favre scrambled for 12 yards two weeks later in a Monday night defeat at Carolina.

Featured back Ahman Green, who's nursing a couple of leg injuries, has the only other explosive runs, one for 12 yards and another for 13. The four-time Pro Bowler has gained just 206 yards in 61 carries, averaging a substandard 3.4 yards per rush.

Rossley attributes the persistent struggles of the running game to "a little bit of everything."

"It's linemen not finishing blocks or taking a wrong step or their point of aim being off," he said. "Maybe it's a wide receiver not getting a block where we get 4 yards when we could have gotten 20 yards and could have broken one off."

Not counting Favre's two, "We've only had (three) explosive runs in five games, and that's really not very good at all. Everybody's a part of that," Rossley added.

The Packers haven't had a 100-yard rusher in any game this season. As a team, they've reached the century mark only once.

There's no telling whether the Packers will get things finally on track rushing the football in the near future. Davenport suffered a season-ending broken ankle in the New Orleans game. Green, who didn't play in that last game, is questionable for Sunday because of a bruised knee and a strained quadriceps tendon.

Tony Fisher, a third-down specialist since his rookie season in 2002, may be called on for his second career start. ReShard Lee, who's been with the team for just a game, is the only other running back on the roster.

"It makes it very challenging, but that's the NFL," Rossley said. "You can't cry about spilled milk. You've got to take what you've got and make it work. We've got to make the run game work."

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