GREEN BAY – Aaron Rodgers is hoping the end of Cedric Benson’s season doesn’t also mean the end of the running back’s career with the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers quarterback, who quickly embraced Benson when he signed with the team in August, said during his weekly radio show Tuesday on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com that he’s hoping the Packers will bring Benson back next year.
Benson suffered a Lisfranc foot sprain Oct. 7 against Indianapolis and three days later was placed on injured reserve with the designation for return. But he had surgery last week and the team announced he would not be activated, despite being eligible to return to practice.
Benson signed a one-year, minimum-contract deal with the Packers that included no guaranteed money or promises of future employment.
“That was real disappointing because Ced and I have become close,” said Rodgers, who was in the same 2005 NFL Draft class with Benson. “It’s been fun to have a guy from the ‘05 draft here; I was excited to meet him and get to know him a little bit. We hit it off pretty quick and sat next to each other during meetings and still do. He’s been really good for us.
“I think he brought a spark to us early in the season, and unfortunately we couldn’t keep him healthy. We miss him a lot and always appreciate him being around the facility. I’m hopeful we can bring him back next year – I think he still has a lot left and I know that he takes care of his body the right way.
“I know he feels, as other guys who come from other teams to Green Bay, I know he feels this is a different place. He feels special here and that he’s appreciated here. Hopefully we can bring him back.”
Benson hasn’t spoken with reporters since the news of his season-ending surgery broke, but earlier this year, he expressed hope that he’d finally found an NFL home after playing for Chicago and Cincinnati.
“This is my eighth season and third team. I’ve had to find success without finding a home,” Benson said. “I’ve had to go into new systems and make it work and find success. It’s been a crazy career for me thus far. But I’m looking forward to possibly the chance to be somewhere where they want me.”
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There are no games scheduled for today.