Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 11/1/11
GREEN BAY, Wis. When Packers rookie running back Brandon Saine arrived at Lambeau Field on the first day back after the team's bye week, the former Ohio State Buckeye expected just another day on the practice squad. Then, during a 7:30 a.m. meeting, special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum hinted that Saine's role on the team was about to change. "Coach Slocum was talking to me about how I was going to be on the punt team, and I was like, 'What?'" Saine said. At the conclusion of that meeting, Saine was given the official word that he had been selected to replace fellow rookie running back Alex Green on the Packers' 53-man roster. Green suffered a torn ACL in Week 7 at Minnesota and was placed on injured reserve Monday. Saine was about to get another surprise. When he got to his locker which, along with those of the rest of the practice squad players, is tucked away in a back corner of the team's locker room, separate from the players on the active roster his jersey was hanging up. No other practice squad players had their jerseys set out for them. Unbeknownst to Saine, Monday was team picture day and only players on the 53-man roster are part of it. With Saine having just been called up within the hour, he barely made the cut to join Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and the rest of the Packers on the field for the photo. "That was the craziest thing for me," Saine said of being invited to be in the team picture. "I didn't even know that's how it worked. I was definitely thankful that I got to take part in that." Saine's next move is that he will be leaving the back corner of the locker room and moving to an open locker near running backs Ryan Grant and James Starks. Saine was not drafted after playing four seasons at Ohio State but signed with the Packers the first day after the lockout ended. "It still hasn't really hit me that I'm going to get this opportunity," Saine said. "To now have the ability to have a chance to get on the field is huge for me." Saine's best season in college was his junior year, when he ran for 739 yards and four touchdowns. During the preseason, he ran a team-high 19 times for 51 yards, averaging just 2.7 yards per carry. With Starks and Grant getting the carries this season in the Packers' running game, Saine will fill in on special teams just as Green had been doing. It was as a blocker on a kickoff return that Green injured his knee. "Brandon earned this opportunity," coach Mike McCarthy said Monday. "I'm excited for him. He's done a very good job throughout his time here. Training camp he was obviously impressive. He was a very nice surprise for me, personally. He's someone that we felt was a no-brainer. Brandon is ready for this opportunity." While it was all good news for Saine, it came at the expense of Green. Green walked into the locker room Monday on crutches, his left knee in a brace and still swollen eight days after the injury. Due to the swelling, doctors have not yet been able to perform surgery. "They thought it was the MCL and ACL first, but I guess it's just the ACL," said Green, the Packers' third-round pick out of Hawaii. "If there is any good news, it'd be that, that it's not both." Green had been given only three rushing attempts all season, but McCarthy had installed a couple offensive packages for him in the game against the Vikings. Green never got the chance to be part of those packages as his injury happened in the first minute of that game. "I was supposed to play more than I'd been playing, so that was kind of frustrating for me," he said. "Then went I went down, I was like, 'Dang. That was my chance to get in a lot.' But things happen for a reason. I'm just trying to figure out what it is. "I can already tell that mentally it's going to be a challenge to just stay in tune with everything and not get too down and try to look at things with a positive outlook." Follow Paul Imig on Twitter
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