GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It isn't exactly a contract holdout, but Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant sat out a mandatory minicamp practice Tuesday morning as he and the team continue to work on a new deal.
Grant, a relative unknown who was traded to Green Bay just before the start of last season and went on to have a breakout year, hopes to prod the Packers into giving him a long-term contract.
But Grant doesn't want to anger his coaches or teammates in the process, so he has been in Green Bay for the team's offseason workout program, attended meetings and been present for practices -- even if he isn't participating in them.
"I want to let it be known that I'm a part of this team and I want to be one of the leaders," Grant said Tuesday. "I want to do everything possible. The business aspect doesn't allow me to practice, but everything I can do, I'm definitely doing."
Grant was in uniform Tuesday morning, hitting a blocking sled at the other end of the Packers' indoor practice facility while his teammates ran plays.
But sitting out practice didn't prevent Grant from getting slightly banged-up, as a teammate accidentally tipped a ball into his face during an informal drill.
"We do a little ball drill at the end of practice, and me and Vernand Morency have a little game where we throw the ball at each other fast," Grant said. "I was actually paying attention, but somebody else hit the ball and it knocked me in my face."
Speaking in the Packers locker room, Grant held a cup full of ice to his swollen lip but managed to keep his sense of humor.
"It wasn't done purposely, so I understand," Grant said. "But I'm going to get him back."
Grant acknowledged that he was missing important practice time by sitting out, but said being present in meetings and at least observing practices was better than not being there at all.
"I'm not trying to come from a place of a boycott or anything like that," Grant said. "I understand that I need to be up here as much as anybody else -- but probably more. We need to be here as a team, guys need to be here and I want to be a part of that."
And Grant said it was tough not to practice with his teammates.
"Even though I get a chance to be around the guys and I'm participating in everything but practice, the fact that I don't get a chance to take reps, it's rough," Grant said.