Packers announced they signed RB Ryan Grant and placed RB Johnny White (concussion) on injured reserve.RB Johnny White has been out of action since he suffered a concussion against the Giants so technically he's lost his roster spot to Grant, though Starks' knee injury is reportedly season-ending. Maybe they still have some hope that Starks can return this season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 5, 2012
The Packers didn't re-sign Grant after last season, despite the fact that he was their best running back according to Football Outsiders. That's faint praise, Grant was ranked 28th while Starks was ranked 39th, and it skimmed over the fact that Grant was basically useless for most of the season. In their first 11 games, he ran for over 40 yards on only one occasion: against the Bears in Week 3.
But he did finish the season strong. Over his last four games, he ran for 85, 66, 44, and 48 yards. Plus, he had a big 80 yard touchdown reception against the Lions. It makes sense that it would take some time for him to get back to full strength because he missed nearly the entire 2010 season.
It's also understandable that the Packers didn't re-sign him. His best days are behind him and GM Ted Thompson doesn't fill his roster with aging, mediocre veterans. He wants to bring in some young, cheap players, and see if the coaches can turn them into something.
However, at this point, with RB Cedric Benson out for the year (and Starks not too far behind), the Packers need help now. They'll reevaluate the position before next year's draft. In the meantime, the Packers could really use a healthy, mediocre veteran running back who knows their offense.