Ryan Grant had finished a workout and was close to signing a contract with the Bears when the Redskins called with an offer he liked better.
“I was on my way to do a physical in Chicago,” Grant expounded, “agreed to Redskins. Told the driver to turn around and take me to the airport.”
Grant asserted he arrived late Tuesday and signed with the Redskins on Wednesday morning, joining a banged-up backfield that didn’t have a healthy alternative choice to rookie starter Alfred Morris.
“This time of the year you want guys that have a little bit of experience, are mentally pretty sharp,” Coach Mike Shanahan announced. “I think he’s a guy in a couple of weeks’ time probably could learn the system reasonably fast and help us.”
Grant spent 5 years with the Packers but has been looking for work since the team opted not to re-sign him after last season. He rushed for 1,203 yards in 2008 and 1,253 yards in 2009 before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in the 2010 regular-season opener against the Eagles on September 12 and was placed on injured reserve after rushing for just 45 yards on eight carries. He returned last year and ran for 559 yards, sharing the load with James Starks.
For the 2010 Pro Bowl, Grant was named a back-up alternate, with squad Chad Clifton, A.J. Hawk, and Clay Matthews.
To make room for Grant, the Washington Redskins placed running back Roy Helu Jr. on injured reserve.
Helu has been handling turf toe in his left foot since the season opener and also has 2 sore Achilles tendons from training camp. He had only 2 carries for 2 yards and 7 catches for 45 yards this season.
Helu announced the injuries forced him to play in pain and kept him from practicing at full-speed. He was wearing a protective boot on his left foot in the locker room Wednesday. Scores
“I don’t like not playing football,” the 2nd-year back said. “I’m still processing sitting out a season.”
The Washington Redskins’ only other running back, Evan Royster, was limited in practice Wednesday after spraining a ligament in his right knee in Sunday’s loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. The team originally voiced his injury as a strained patellar tendon. His standing is uncertain for this week’s game against the Buccaneers.
The Washington Redskins considered bringing back Tim Hightower, who was cut at the end of preseason after a slower-than-hoped recovery from a torn ACL a year ago. But Shanahan said Hightower had a setback in rehabilitation and may be having arthroscopic surgery on the knee.
Notes: LT Trent Williams (bone bruise in right knee) was limping and did not practice Wednesday. … CB Cedric Griffin (hamstring) also did not practice. … WR Pierre Garcon was limited again with a right foot injury that has sidelined him since his 88-yard touchdown catch in the season opener. “It’s annoying a lot more than anybody would have expected,” Garcon recounted. … S Brandon Meriweather (sprained left knee) was limited.