Packers to go with dual threat backfield

Ryan Grant has not played in a regular-season game since the opener in 2010 and now the Green Bay Packers running back returns to a split backfield.

The plan for the Packers is to share the workload between Grant and James Starks, the rookie who emerged late last season. They’ll both handle duties in the opener Thursday night at Lambeau Field against the New Orleans Saints, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"We know what they can do," running backs coach Jerry Fontenot said. "It's just a matter of getting them comfortable and making sure they've gotten enough reps to do it. The only way I see them doing that is getting them as equal of work as I possibly can."

Grant suffered an ankle injury to become one of 16 Packers to land on injured reserve. After agreeing to a pay reduction, he’s back and in position. But Starks was an unsung hero in the postseason for the Packers and looks to have a bright future. In a passing attack, both backs can stay fresh by rotating.

"It's nice to have different options at tailback," Fontenot said. "We have Ryan who is as physical as anyone, playing behind his pads - a bruising-style runner. James is more elusive in the hole, but he's still a big back and he's strong, so tacklers bounce off him.

"So, what course is better? I don't know. We'll find out."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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