Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones missed three games due to a hamstring injury early in the year, and he’s been a limited participant in practice since. However, against the Chargers in Week 11, Jones suffered a knee injury that could keep him out of future contests.
Aaron Jones Injury Update
On a 1st-and-10 carry with three minutes left in the second quarter, Jones’ left knee bent inward (possible MCL injury), and he went down in obvious pain. As trainers attended to him, players from both teams took a knee.
#Packers RB Aaron Jones went down on this play.
He immediately grabbed his knee and appeared to be in a lot of pain.pic.twitter.com/lT143iybNU
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) November 19, 2023
After being helped to the sideline, Jones left on the cart to the locker room with a towel draped over his head. He was subsequently ruled out for the rest of the game.
Jones left the game with four carries for 14 yards and one catch for three. Shortly after he left the field, backup running back Emmanuel Wilson suffered an injury of his own (shoulder) and was also carted off. That left AJ Dillon as the only healthy back for the Packers.
Fortunately, Jones’ injury is not believed to be a long-term issue.
“It looked bad. Seeing it live, it didn’t look good,” head coach Matt LaFleur said after the game. “But he’s in good spirits in there, so hopefully it’s just a short-term deal.”
Jones said initial tests indicated that he did not suffer an ACL injury. He’ll have an MRI on Monday to determine what happened to his knee. Jones, who has already missed time this season, was breathing a sigh of relief after the game.
“Like if it’s my ACL, then I’m done for the season,” Jones said. “I put in a lot of work, put in a lot of time to be here with these guys. And for it to go out like that, I was feeling like, ‘Man, I can’t catch a break.’ But caught a break. Hopefully, it’s not anything serious, and I’m back here pretty soon.”
The Packers are facing a short turnaround, with a Thanksgiving Day matchup against the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions just four days away. Even if Jones isn’t dealing with a severe injury, he might not be able to make it back in time for Week 12. The same goes for Wilson, whose left arm was in a sling.
Green Bay will likely promote practice squad RB Ellis Merriweather before Thursday’s game, and they still may need to sign an additional back. Patrick Taylor, who spent 2021-22 and the first four games of this season with the Packers, is on the New England Patriots’ practice squad and could be a fit.
Fantasy Fallout From Jones’ Injury
Dillon moves into a fantasy-friendly role for a team that has a very manageable schedule moving forward. That said, expectations need to be held in check — Week 7 was the first time this season in which Dillon averaged even 4.0 yards per carry. The work he projects for is enough to land him as a low-end RB2, but it’s important to keep expectations in check: Dillon is a viable option, not a league winner.
In theory, this could put more volume on Love and this passing game, but we’ve yet to see any of their young pass catchers earn targets on a consistent basis. Christian Watson, Jayden Reed, Romeo Doubs, and Luke Musgrave are all fine options as roster depth, but none of them was a lineup option prior to this injury, and I don’t see that changing as a result of this injury.
— PFN Fantasy Analyst Kyle Soppe