Take a look at the photo that headlines this piece. There’s one thing you will see a lot of in 2017 and another you don’t figure to see at all when it comes to the Green Bay Packers. It’s far from complicated. This fall and winter, you can look for quarterback Aaron Rodgers to be handing the ball to running back Ty Montgomery. However, the latter doesn’t figure to be wearing the No. 88 this season.

The move from wide receiver to the backfield is complete. The 2015 third-round pick from Stanford University was used in a pinch this past season when Mike Mccarthy’s team became short-handed at the running back spot.

Now he has a firm grip on the job after showing his talents when pressed into backfield duty in ’16. Going forward, what impact will Montgomery have on the Green Bay offense?

What we saw in 2016

The Green Bay Packers ranked 20th in the NFL when it came to running the football this past season. For much of the year, the only player on the team with a rushing touchdown was quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The talented passer wound up leading the club with four scores on the ground. He finished as the team’s second-leading rusher with 369 yards. But it was Montgomery who paced the Packers with 457 rushing yards (3 touchdowns) on 77 carries (Rodgers ran the ball 67 times). He averaged a startling 5.9 yards per attempt.

He also chipped in with 44 catches for 348 yards. With Eddie Lacy and Christine Michael scheduled for free agency and the franchise already releasing James Starks, Montgomery’s role figures to increase in a big way.

Packers need more balance

When you have an Aaron Rodgers, it is hard not to be tempted to do what he does best.

Of course, when you’re hurting at running back and in the secondary you have to adjust. Fortunately for the Green Bay Packers, they have one of the premier quarterbacks in the league. But that can only take you so far. Only the New Orleans Saints gave up more yards through the air this past season than Mike McCarthy’s team.

The Packers need a stout running game to keep their defensive unit off the field a bit longer. Will they get that from Montgomery? Can he carry the load and be a player that can give you 250-plus carries for a season? Is general manager Ted Thompson ready to re-sign either Lacy or Michael or dip into free agency? That’s a lot of questions for a team that came close to representing the NFC in Super Bowl LI. Stay tuned.

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