Davenport signs one-year deal

Running back Najeh Davenport, who is coming off a season-ending broken ankle, has agreed to stay with the Green Bay Packers.

It's a one-year contract, agent Drew Rosenhaus told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Davenport will sign it on Monday.

Davenport joins Ahman Green - who also is coming off a season-ending injury and who signed a one-year contract on March 6 - and Samkon Gado, who burst onto the scene after Davenport and Green were lost for the season, in a full-house backfield of sorts.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson, who has been shy to spend money on other teams' free agents, wasn't shy about re-signing his free-agent running backs. Along with Green and Davenport, Thompson retained fullback William Henderson with a two-year contract after the veteran flirted with the rival Minnesota Vikings.

Progress made with Davenport's negotiations probably is a reason why Thompson let popular third-down back Tony Fisher sign with St. Louis on Friday.

Davenport played in five games last season, including one start. That game, Oct. 9 against New Orleans, was Davenport's debut in place of an injured Green.

He rushed for 54 yards on 12 carries in that game, averaging 4.5 yards per rush and scoring two touchdowns, before breaking the ankle while being tackled by Saints linebacker Courtney Watson.

Davenport had surgery a day later, and is hopeful he'll be ready for the start of training camp in July.

The injury was just the latest in Davenport's career. In four seasons since being drafted in the fourth round out of the University of Miami, Davenport has never played a full 16-game season.

He was limited to eight games as a rookie because of a broken eye socket, 15 in 2003 - when he rushed for a career-high 420 yards and 5.5 yards per carry - 11 in 2004 because of right and left hamstring injuries, and five last season.

In 39 games - he's missed 25 - he has rushed for 1,068 yards an seven touchdowns on 217 attempts. That's 4.9 yards per carry. If he can ever maintain that pace, he'd be one of the top backs in the league.

Lawrence is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com. Send comments to steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com

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