After five seasons and a Super Bowl win with the Green Bay Packers, former Notre Dame running back Ryan Grant went the first month of the 2012-13 campaign without a job. Now he’s second on the depth chart for a Washington Redskins organization trying to win an NFC East title.
Grant, who was released by Green Bay following last season, signed a one-year deal with Washington on Sept. 25 worth an estimated $1.2 million.
The day before, Grant worked out for the Chicago Bears after visiting the Detroit Lions the previous week.
“I was on my way to do a physical in Chicago," Grant told ESPN on Sept. 25. "Agreed to Washington. Told the driver to turn around and take me to the airport.”
The 29 year old put up 1,203 yards in 2008 and rushed for 1,253 the following year for the Packers. An ankle injury in the 2010-11 regular-season opener shelved him for the year as the team went on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25, in Super Bowl XLV. Sharing carries with James Starks last season, Grant rushed for 559 yards.
The Redskins needed a backup to Alfred Morris with Evan Royster still dealing with a strained right patella tendon and Roy Helu Jr. nursing a left foot injury.
“This time of year you need guys that have a little bit of experience, are mentally pretty sharp,” Washington coach Mike Shanahan told ESPN. “I think he's a guy in a couple of weeks' time probably could learn the system fairly quickly and help us.”
Grant said he chose Washington over Chicago for many reasons, including the opportunity to work with rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.
“RG3, No. 1, is super talented," Grant told the Washington Post. “I think he opens things up for an offense. He makes things exciting. With Coach Shanahan, his track record speaks for itself. I like what they do offensively, and what they’re trying to do. I think this team has a lot of promise.”
Through Oct. 4
• Indianapolis Colts safety Sergio Brown registered his first two tackles of the season in a 22-17 loss to Jacksonville Sept. 23 in Florida. The Colts, still transitioning from quarterback Peyton Manning to rookie Andrew Luck, are 1-2 this year and in second place in the AFC South behind undefeated Houston.
• Denver Broncos safety David Bruton also recorded his first tackle of the year in a 37-6 win over Oakland on Sept. 30. Denver is 2-2 and one game behind San Diego in the AFC West.
• Minnesota tight end John Carlson started the first three games of the year, but it was the fourth outing, when he came off the bench in a 20-13 win at Detroit on Sept. 30, that he caught his first pass of the season. Unfortunately, it went for minus-one yard. It was his first reception since Jan. 2, 2011, when he was a member of the Seattle Seahawks. Carlson missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. Minnesota is 3-1 and tied with Chicago for the top spot in the NFL North.
• Kyle Rudolph, who studied under Carlson at Notre Dame, caught two passes for eight yards in Detroit. The second-year tight end has 15 receptions for 146 yards and three touchdowns in four starts.
• Minnesota rookie starting safety Harrison Smith added a tackle against Detroit. He has 22 stops thus far and six passes defended.
• Miami tight end Anthony Fasano collected five receptions for 30 yards in the Dolphins’ 24-21 loss to Arizona in Week Four He has 15 catches this year for 115 yards and a touchdown. Miami is 1-3 and in fourth place in the AFC East.
• Arizona rookie receiver Michael Floyd followed up his first NFL catch — an eight-yard touchdown in a win over Philadelphia in Week Three — with four catches for 35 yards in a 24-21 victory over Miami. The Cardinals are 4-0 and in the NFC West driver’s seat.
• Starting tackle Derek Landri notched a season-high four tackles in a 19-17 victory over defending Super Bowl champion New York on Sept. 30. The Eagles moved to 3-1 and into first place in the NFC East.
• A week after a controversial touchdown pass as time expired in Seattle’s win over Green Bay, a play that prompted the NFL to strike a deal with its regular officials, Seahawks receiver Golden Tate had just one catch for seven yards in a 19-13 loss to St. Louis. Tate has seven receptions for 113 yards and a pair of scores for Seattle, which is 2-2 and tied for last with the Rams in the NFC West.
• New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck made four tackles in the loss to Philadelphia. He has 14 tackles for the 2-2 Giants, which are tied for last with Washington in the NFC East in an attempt to defend their Super Bowl crown.
• Indianapolis strong safety Tom Zbikowksi finished with three tackles in the loss to Jacksonville. He has nine stops this season.
Irish In The NFL
Name (Years At Notre Dame) Pos. Current Team
Armando Allen (2007-10) RB Chicago Bears
Jordan Black (1999-2002) OT Washington Redskins
Robert Blanton (2008-11) DB Minnesota Vikings
Sergio Brown (2006-09) S Indianapolis Colts
David Bruton (2005-08) S Denver Broncos
John Carlson (2003-07) TE Minnesota Vikings
Jimmy Clausen (2007-09) QB Carolina Panthers
Jeff Faine (1999-2002) C Cincinnati Bengals
Anthony Fasano (2002-05) TE Miami Dolphins
Darius Fleming* (2008-11) LB San Francisco 49ers
Michael Floyd (2008-11) WR Arizona Cardinals
Ryan Grant (2001-04) RB Washington Redskins
Jonas Gray (2008-11) RB Miami Dolphins
Ryan Harris (2003-06) OT Houston Texans
J.J. Jansen (2004-07) LS Carolina Panthers
Derek Landri (2002-06) DT Philadelphia Eagles
Trevor Laws* (2003-07) DT St. Louis Rams
Kyle McCarthy* (2005-09) S Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Olsen (2006-09) OL New Orleans Saints
Brady Quinn (2003-06) QB Kansas City Chiefs
Trevor Robinson (2008-11) OG Cincinnati Bengals
Kyle Rudolph (2008-10) TE Minnesota Vikings
Harrison Smith (2007-11) S Minnesota Vikings
John Sullivan (2003-07) C Minnesota Vikings
Golden Tate (2007-09) WR Seattle Seahawks
Justin Tuck (2001-04) DE New York Giants
Ian Williams (2007-10) DT San Francisco 49ers
Sam Young (2006-09) OT Buffalo Bills
Tom Zbikowski (2003-07) S Indianapolis Colts
^ Practice squad member; * suffered a season-ending injury