Cedric Benson might not be quite ready to return to the field when he becomes eligible to practice next week, but the Green Bay Packers running back believes heíll be ready for the teamís Week 14 game against Detroit.
Under the NFLís new injured reserve rules, the eighth-year running back can return to practice next week after suffering a Lisfranc foot sprain against Indianapolis Oct. 7 and being placed on injured reserve with a designation to return.
While that may be too early, Benson said heíll be ready to return for the Packersí game against the Lions on Dec. 9, which would be the first game he could play in under the rules that dictate players canít practice for six weeks and canít play for eight.
ďCedric had the opportunity to have some testing done and everythingís positive,Ē Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. ďHis rehab has picked up. Weíll see where we are next week. We donít have a startup date exactly when heís going to be ready. We had some good news in the past seven days.Ē
For now, James Starks appears to have retaken his spot as the Green Bay Packersí No. 1 running back over Alex Green, but Benson might not be too far behind.
When Starks was out for two months with a turf toe injury, the 29-year-old Benson had become the Packersí every-down running back, rushing for 248 yards on 71 carries with one touchdown before the injury.
Benson agrees the league's new IR rule saved his season, but the wait has been hard at times for a guy who missed only one game over his last two seasons, which was due to suspension, not injury.
After nearly six weeks of rehab and three weeks away from a potential return, Benson is progressing to the point he's excited to be talking return.
" I think weíre still a couple of weeks away from that, but very close, very close," Benson said. "Kind of the way the doctor puts it to me all the time is regardless of anything, whether you could play tomorrow, youíve still got three weeks where you canít play."