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New Packer Corey Grant makes happier return to Green Bay

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Corey Grant had come to town once before, and it wasn't a happy occasion.

His return was all smiles.

Eight months ago he was in Green Bay to undergo surgery by renowned foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson, who repaired a Lisfranc fracture in Grant's left foot that ended his 2018 season -- and his career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The veteran running back hit the practice field on Friday only hours after he signed with the Packers.

"It's kind of funny now, coming back here with him being here," Grant said. "But it's maybe a good situation."

Grant still thinks he can run like he did when he came into the NFL. He reportedly ran a sub-4.3 40 at his Auburn pro day in 2015.

"It was a 4.24," Grant said.

And could he run that today?

"Oh yeah, yes sir," he said.

Said Packers coach Matt LaFleur: "I know he's really, really fast."

Grant also has history with Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, who coordinated the Jaguars offense during part of Grant's time there.

"It makes it easier being in the same offense with Hackett the past couple of years," Grant said. "Even though these past two days have been spinning, the playbook is coming back a little bit. Like similar concepts but some things have changed. It will take some time, but it's coming back."

Grant was often used as the Jaguars' third-string running back. He played in 38 career games between 2015 and 2018 and averaged 5.6 yards per carry with one 100-yard game (18 carries for 122 yards against the Colts in the 2016 season finale).

The Jaguars thought so much of him that last offseason, they offered the former undrafted free agent the second-round restricted free-agent tender, which paid him $2.914 million.

He might be known best for two things: one, his performance against the Patriots in the 2017 AFC Championship Game, when he caught passes for gains of 20, 24 and 15 yards to help the Jaguars to an early 14-3 lead. Somewhat surprisingly, he touched the ball only one time in the second half, a run for 2 yards. And two, a pair of fake punts -- one for a 56-yard touchdown against the Chargers and another for a 58-yard gain against the Ravens, both in the 2017 season, which in part explain his impressive rushing average.

As a fifth-year pro, he's the most experienced back on the Packers' roster. But starter Aaron Jones and backup Jamaal Williams seem entrenched as a 1-2 punch. However, the race for the No. 3 back is wide open. The Packers drafted Dexter Williams of Notre Dame in the sixth round but the only other halfback they have is Tra Carson, who has never had an NFL carry despite being in his fourth training camp.

"I hope I can just bring my speed, my experience that I have being a fifth-year guy," Grant said. "It's a great group of guys and wherever I can fit, I'm going to do [it]."

Grant joined the Packers on the same day that they signed former University of Wisconsin defensive tackle Olive Sagapolu. That brought the roster back to the 90-man offseason limit after they released veteran defensive tackle Mike Daniels on Wednesday and former practice squad defensive lineman Eric Cotton on Friday.