Marc Tyler had an eventual career as a USC Trojan, but his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers start off swiftly on Friday night, as the rookie gained 52 yards on 13 carries. His big role seen in the first preseason game with the team could change however, as the Packers have agreed to terms with NFL veteran and former Texas Longhorn, Cedric Benson.
After Friday night’s game, injuries had pushed Tyler to the top of the depth charter, as No. 1 back James Starks injured his toe against the Chargers, while Brandon Saine and Du’ane Bennett were already out with injuries. Tyler split carries with Alex Green, who’s just now back in action after a serious knee injury in Week 7 last year cost him the rest of his season.
With an injury depleted backfield, the Packers had to go after Cedric Benson, the best available runner in free agency. Benson had a rough start to his career with the Chicago Bears, but bounced back successfully with the Cincinnati Bengals, gaining 3,429 yards over the last three seasons, with 19 touchdowns.
Benson immediately should compete for a ‘feature back’ tag from the Packers, making Marc Tyler’s opportunity in Green Bay a little log-jammed at the moment. Tyler came into camp hoping to fight his way onto the roster after signing as undrafted free agent, and the injuries have given him a tremendous opportunity with the Packers.
Starks and Benson now probably project to be Green Bay’s two-headed backfield, but that’s assuming that Starks doesn’t have any setbacks with his turf toe ailment.
Going into the second week of preseason play, Tyler’s reps should decline with Green set to get more carries and Benson joining the backfield. However, if Tyler can play as he did on Friday night against the Chargers, averaging four yards per carry, there’s no denying that he deserves a long look from head coach Mike McCarthy.