A forgotten man

Packers running back gets lost in shuffle against Rams, says PackerReport.com's Todd Korth

Ryan Grant has quickly blossomed into a productive running back for the Green Bay Packers. Yet there were many times during Green Bay's lopsided win over St. Louis on Sunday when Grant seemed left out of the mix.

Grant finished with just 55 yards on 18 carries against the Rams, but probably could have boosted his total considerably with a few more carries. He had one catch for 3 yards. Considering Grant entered the game as the leading rusher in the NFL in the last seven weeks and was coming off a career-best 156-yard game rushing on 29 carries against Oakland last Sunday, you'd think Mike McCarthy might continue to feed him the rock a little more, but that was hardly the case.

Grant only had seven carries for 31 yards in the second half, and 24 of those yards came on one run. That run was after the Packers pulled out to a 27-14 lead and after Brett Favre passed Dan Marino for the NFL all-time passing yardage record. Yet there were many times when Favre continued to pass. Favre was picked off for the second time in the game by safety Oshiomogho Atogwe on a second-and-six play with just under 10 minutes left in the game. But why throw a deep pass in that situation anyway?

Passing is Green Bay's forte, but passing late into a game that was clearly decided and against a team that is ranked 21st in the league against the run was pointless. Give Grant the ball, run the clock down, and keep Favre safe from any potential injury. The offensive line has been blocking well, and chances are that Grant will pile up yardage and give Green Bay's defense an extended break at the same time.

Grant has proven to be an asset to the Packers in the second half of this season. He has shown an ability to break off big runs. He is durable. He is reliable with the football. Yes, he did fumble the ball away in the first quarter, but it would have been tough for Superman to hold onto the ball after the crushing hit on the ball by Rams linebacker Brandon Chillar.

Grant is no one-hit wonder. He has all the ability to be Green Bay's No. 1 back for years to come. At a time of season when keeping the quarterback healthy is a top objective, running the ball as much as possible is a no-brainer. For whatever reason, the Packers forgot about Grant against the Rams.

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.

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