Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 8/12/12
GREEN BAY, Wis. Cedric Benson is on his way to Green Bay. In an exclusive interview with FOXSportsWisconsin.com, Packers running back Alex Green confirmed Benson's imminent arrival. "I was informed today that Cedric Benson will be coming in, so that's a great thing for us," Green told FOXSportsWisconsin.com on Sunday afternoon. "It'll help the team out. He's a great running back. That'll be a great thing for us to learn from and get a better feel for the running back position." Reports of Benson's signing with Green Bay broke Friday night, but throughout both of the team's weekend practices, there was no sign of him. However, by the time the Packers begin practice Monday morning, Benson should be in uniform with his new teammates. With Benson now 29 years old, it remains to be seen whether the skills that helped him rack up three consecutive 1,000-plus-yard seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals will turn around a Green Bay running game that finished 27th overall in the NFL last season and 24th overall in 2010. Benson never came close to living up to being the fourth overall pick by the Chicago Bears in 2005; he was released after three seasons that never amounted to more than 674 yards in any one year. However, Benson soon found a home with the Bengals and produced 20 touchdowns and 3,429 rushing yards over the last three seasons. Considering the Packers were led in rushing in 2011 by James Starks with 578 yards, Benson should be an immediate upgrade. After not re-signing veteran Ryan Grant, Green Bay entered training camp this season with Starks as its No. 1 running back. But a poor performance in the Packers' preseason opener by Starks -- including a dropped pass and a fumble on the opening drive -- was apparently enough to convince general manager Ted Thompson to fly Benson into Green Bay and get a deal done. Plus, Starks has not been able to practice since that game due to a turf toe injury. Prior to Benson signing, the Packers planned to use second-year running backs Green and Brandon Saine behind Starks. Green was a third-round pick in 2011 but played little before a torn ACL ended his season. Though Green passed his training camp physical and has been participating in practices and in the team's first preseason game, he's been on a limited amount of snaps as coach Mike McCarthy eases him back. Saine, who went undrafted in 2011, has been battling an injury of his own recently, missing the preseason game in San Diego due to a hamstring issue. Benson has not had injury problems in recent seasons but has had his share of legal issues. He was arrested in 2008 for two separate incidents of driving while intoxicated, once in a boat and the other time in a car. However, Benson was found innocent of one charge and was eventually cleared of the other. In 2010, Benson was arrested for alleged assault but was not suspended by the NFL. But in 2011, during the lockout, Benson was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of assault, served five days of jail time and received a one-game suspension from the NFL. If Benson is able to do a good job in pass protection for Packers MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers and can help resurrect Green Bay's struggling running game, this could turn out to be a significant signing for a team that hopes to win its second Super Bowl in three seasons. Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
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