Cedric Benson

The Green Bay Packers placed running back Cedric Benson on injured reserve, coach Mike McCarthy anounced today.

Benson suffered a Lisfranc sprain against Indianapolis on Sunday, leaving the game in the first half. Although Benson suggested the injury wasn’t serious at the time, he’s expected to miss at least eight weeks.

In year’s past, placing a player on injured reserve meant his season was over — players were not allowed to play for the team until the following season. That’s still the case for most players. However, starting this season, teams can designate one player who’s placed on injured reserve for return.

The Packers did it with Benson, meaning if he gets healthy he can return in eight weeks.

If the Packers can manage to get their act together and win some games in the meantime, this might actually prove to be a good move. McCarthy seemed to be making Benson a focal point of the offense when he went down.

Having him for a late-season playoff run, especially in the cold weather, could prove extremely useful.

Now, the Packers just need to get into the playoff picture.