Packers Add Veteran Grant To Beat-Up Receiver Corps

Bill Huber

The Green Bay Packers added some veteran depth at receiver on Wednesday by signing Ryan Grant, the team announced on Wednesday.

In his sixth season, Grant has 123 receptions for 1,333 yards and seven touchdowns. A fifth-round pick by Washington in 2014, Grant had career-high totals of 45 catches for 573 yards and four touchdowns for the Redskins in 2017.

That season put Grant into position to sign a four-year, $29 million contract with Baltimore in free agency. However, he failed his physical due to an ankle injury and ultimately settled for a one-year, $5 million deal with Indianapolis. He caught 35 passes for the Colts and had four catches for 14 yards for this week’s opponent, the Oakland Raiders, in two games this season.

With his tepid production and the Raiders’ trade with Green Bay to acquire receiver/returner Trevor Davis on Sept. 19, Grant was released on Sept. 25 after being inactive for the Week 3 game at Minnesota.

Grant (6-0, 194) worked out for the Packers on Oct. 7, ESPN.com’s Rob Demovsky reported.

To make room on the roster, the Packers released running back Tra Carson. That opens the door for sixth-round pick Dexter Williams to perhaps get his first regular-season playing time.

The Packers’ receiver corps is banged up. Starter Davante Adams has missed the last two games with turf toe, Geronimo Allison was knocked out of Monday’s game against Detroit with chest and head injuries and Marquez Valdes-Scantling briefly exited the game after being bent backward.

Allison has taken most of his snaps this season from the slot, where he’s recorded 10 of his 13 catches. Grant has some slot experience, with 14 grabs with the Redskins in 2017.

At the 2014 Scouting Combine, he ran his 40 in 4.59 seconds.

“I think Brian’s doing everything in his power and I don’t think there’s any stoned unturned,” coach Matt LaFleur said of GM Brian Gutekunst on Wednesday before the roster moves were announced. “He’s doing everything in his power to provide us with the best football team he can do, and he’s done an outstanding job. You just look at all the acquisitions that we made in the offseason, free agency, I thought he did an excellent job in the draft. I’ve got total confidence that he’s doing everything he can to help us out.”

Also on Wednesday, the Packers are opening the practice windows for tight end Jace Sternberger (injured reserve, ankle) and safety Ibraheim Campbell (physically unable to perform list, knee). Both players will be eligible to be added to the roster in time for the Week 9 game at the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 3. However, the Packers don’t have to make a decision on either player for 21 days, or Nov. 6. That’s when the Packers must add them to the roster or place them on season-ending injured reserve.

Finally, the Packers filled out their 10-man practice squad by signing running back Damarea Crockett and cornerback Tremon Smith and releasing tight end Ethan Wolf.

The Packers released Smith from their 53-man roster before Monday’s game against Detroit to activate tight end Evan Baylis from the practice squad. Smith had been the team’s kickoff returner in Weeks 3, 4 and 5 and averaged 22.7 yards per runback. Without him, Darrius Shepherd averaged just 17.4 yards on five kickoff returns vs. the Lions.

Crockett (5-11, 224) went undrafted out of Missouri this year and spent training camp with the Houston Texans before landing on Oakland’s practice squad for six weeks. In three seasons as Missouri, he rushed for 2,252 yards (5.9 average) and 19 touchdowns.

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