Packers sign free agent running back Cedric Benson
The Green Bay Packers signed free agent running back Cedric Benson to a one-year contract Sunday, reportedly for the veterans' minimum of $850,000.
The move was rumored all weekend as Green Bay's other rushers struggle with injuries. But according to the National Football Post, the Packers insisted they would not pay a bonus or any other guaranteed money to Benson, and they got their wish.
It does not appear that Benson will be ready to play on Thursday night when the Packers host Cleveland in an exhibition. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, he cannot practice in full pads until his third session. The Packers will only practice twice more this week.
Benson, a seven-year veteran, has averaged just under 300 carries a year, without missing a game because of injury, in his last three seasons with Cincinnati. He averaged almost four yards a carry in 2011.
Benson only had six carries of 20 or more yards the past two seasons, however. He fumbled a dozen times, losing seven.
He's been arrested four times during his pro career, twice for misdemeanor assault and twice for alcohol offenses.
Benson spent five days in jail and was suspended for a game after his last offense a year ago when he punched an ex-teammate. The Bengals did not invite him to training camp this year.
Injuries are a concern
Packers Coach Mike McCarthy says he's never had so many injured players at training camp. Nineteen players sat out yesterday's practice.
McCarthy said starting receiver Greg Jennings is recovering slower than expected from a concussion suffered 10 days ago at the Packers' Family Night scrimmage. McCarthy is not sure when Jennings might be able to return.
He said starting left tackle Marshall Newhouse could return Monday from the concussion he received at Family Night. Tight end Ryan Taylor returned to practice Sunday after a concussion.
McCarthy says he's been adjusting his practices so the remainder of his starters are not overworked to make up for the losses of others. The coach did not report any new injuries as the result of Sunday's workout.