Have you ever had a friend fall on hard times? They go through a rough stretch where they lose their job/girlfriend/dog/car/all of the above and just can’t seem to catch a break. But one day they burst out of their funk, and suddenly, if briefly, everything is just how you remember it.
Ever have a friend like that?
I don’t know if you have, but that’s what I thought of in Week 16 last year when Ryan Grant rolled back the clock to 2007 and helped the Packers torch the Titans. Grant carried the ball 20 times for 80 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns, the first time he’d crossed the goal line twice as a runner since December of 2011.
In that aforementioned 2007 season, Grant might have been the best part of the Packers’ offense down the stretch, rushing for over 100 yards in five of Green Bay’s final 10 games and scoring eight touchdowns over that stretch. He followed that up with two 1200 yard seasons in 2008 and 2009, but began to fall on hard times right away in 2010, sustaining a season ending ankle injury in the first game of what would go on to be a Super Bowl season in Green Bay.
From there, it’s been downhill for Grant. He split time with James Starks in 2011 and initially wasn’t brought back for the 2012 season. He caught on in Washington for a short time, but only got one rushing attempt before he was cut. But when injuries piled up in the Packer backfield, Ted Thompson dialed up Mr. Grant for one last tour of duty.
On the whole, Grant’s (likely) final go-round in Green Bay was a mixed bag at best, but it all came together against the Titans. Though a beat-down of a miserable Tennessee squad may be just a footnote in the overall history of the Packers, it was still heartwarming to see an old workhorse back get one last day in the sun.