GREEN BAY – Not long before suffering a season-ending foot injury, Cedric Benson felt he had finally found a home playing football in Green Bay.
Then Benson suffered a Lisfranc injury in his left foot in the Packers’ Oct. 7 loss in Indianapolis. Although he was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return, Benson was forced to undergo season-ending surgery on Nov. 28.
The veteran running back said Sunday as he cleaned out his locker that he still wants to be back in Green Bay next season, still feels at home here.
“Oh yes, absolutely,” Benson said. “I don't have a preference to be anywhere else. This is what I know and I'm excited about winning Super Bowls, too, and everybody around here is as well.
“You know teams that are nice franchises, established teams who expect to be in the playoffs every year. That's kind of what you want to be a part of, especially in the later parts of your career. When you've been around and you've gotten a real taste of everything, it's not so much an individual thing now. You take more appreciation for the teamwork and the camaraderie and the way guys work diligently for the team, to put themselves to be in the playoffs.”
But before Benson gets carried away, he reminds himself that he still has a lot of rehab to go through. The running back is still wearing a walking boot – he just got the cast taken off a week ago – and was not allowed to travel to San Francisco because of the swelling in his ankle after having his cast removed.
“I actually need to slow down,” Benson said. “I always want to do more. I want to rush myself to run.
“There's not much I can do right now, I'm just out of the cast so my rehab for now has been upper body and conditioning in the pool. But I think in a couple of weeks, I'll be free to jog in the ultra-G machine and do some running in the pool.”
Benson also admitted that he hasn’t had extended conversations with the coaching staff about his future with the team because he didn’t want to take the focus away what really mattered – the team’s success – until the season was over.
“No, not yet,” Benson said. “I expect to. The season was still going on. They had a lot of things to focus on. But hopefully it works out.
“I've gotten a lot of positive feedback from teammates and some of the staff. But they're not the ones that make those decisions.”
And that positive feedback – and everything Benson experienced this season – led the running back to say the season wasn’t a waste because he learned a lot.
“It's frustrating in the fact things didn't go the way I'd have liked them to,” Benson said. “And it was a long summer and I got sidelined early. Things didn't go the way I'd like it to and at times it got frustrating. But I think I gained a lot of things in the same aspect. I got to play in a different style of offense than I ever have. I got to experience being a triple threat. Just a lot of great things I can take from it."
– Sarah Barshop
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