GREEN BAY – Ryan Grant traveled the country over the past month, taking one NFL workout after another, with the hope of getting his football career back on track.
Last week, that journey brought the sixth-year receiver to Green Bay, and of all the visits he’d taken, Grant was optimistic the Packers would be the team to finally end his jet-setting.
“I wanted to come here out of all the places I worked out at,” said Grant, who most recently was with Oakland. “Small town, I could really just focus on football. And this is a great organization, has history, a lot of great players have played here, and just the ‘G’ on the helmet seems special.”
After temporarily going their separate ways, the Packers called Grant back Wednesday after injuries to top three receivers Davante Adams (foot), Geronimo Allison (concussion/chest) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle/knee) left them thin at the position entering Sunday’s game with the Raiders.
Grant, 28, provides depth and versatility at a spot where the Packers could use both. A veteran of 80 NFL games, the 6-foot, 185-pound receiver has amassed 123 catches for 1,333 yards and seven touchdowns. More importantly, he has experience playing both the slot and splitting out wide.
Grant lined up outside on 494 of his 560 snaps with Indianapolis last season, according to Pro Football Focus, but also played extensively in the slot during his time with Washington. His most successful year in 2017 saw Grant split his reps evenly down the middle between reps inside and on the perimeter.
“I think if he can bring some ability to the slot, that really gives us another weapon there,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “Over the years, we have had big bodies from that spot. Jordy (Nelson) did it for years playing the slot receiver. Davante has done it before. Greg Jennings worked in the slot at times when he was here. So it doesn’t really matter the body type. It’s really about the production, and that certain player.”
While Rodgers isn’t overly familiar with Grant’s tape, the new Packers receiver has a history with Adams. The two worked out together this offseason due to a mutual connection, receivers coach Keith Williams.