The Green Bay Packers are set to square off with the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day in a key NFC North clash but will have to do so without their top option at running back.
What happened to Aaron Jones to sideline him for the game?
What Happened to Aaron Jones?
The Packers have a quick turnaround to Thursday’s contest after defeating the Chargers 23-20 on Sunday.
Jones went down with what looked to be a severe injury to many on and off the field during the contest. His left knee bent inward on a carry late in the second quarter, and he went down in obvious pain after the play. Players from both teams took a knee as he was tended to by trainers, fearing the worst.
Jones was then helped to the sideline before being carted to the locker room with a towel draped over his head and was later ruled out for the remainder of the game after tallying four carries for 14 yards and one catch for three.
However, positive indications began to come out after the game, as initial tests indicated he did not suffer an ACL injury. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur spoke optimistically of Jones’ long-term prognosis after the game, as did Jones himself.
“Like if it’s my ACL, then I’m done for the season,” Jones told reporters. “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.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday described Jones as “unlikely to play Thursday,” which would leave the Packers in a tough spot at running back.
Green Bay Thin at Running Back
With the injury to Jones and fellow running back Emmanuel Wilson also going down during the win over the Chargers, AJ Dillon was left as Green Bay’s lone running back option during the game.
Dillon has 117 carries for 405 yards and one touchdown through 10 appearances this season, including three starts when Jones missed time earlier in the year. He looks poised to make the start again if Jones is indeed unable to go, but the Packers will also need other options at the spot.
Given those injuries, Green Bay has made some moves to bolster the position. It added Patrick Taylor from the New England Patriots’ practice squad and signed James Robinson to the practice squad.
Neither Taylor nor Robinson have seen substantial action this season. Taylor has 11 carries for 31 yards across four previous appearances for the Packers this year, while Robinson has yet to play in a game this season and has long been off the heights of his productive rookie campaign in 2020.
Time will tell whether either or both see meaningful time as Dillon will likely feature, but another injury at running back could certainly leave Green Bay in a predicament.