Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult parts of life. We have all dealt with losing a loved one at some point in our lives, and professional athletes face the same heartfelt hardship but still attempt to do their jobs despite the whirlwind.
Packers RB Aaron Jones felt overwhelming sadness as he prepared to play his first NFL game following his father’s passing. Jones was overcome with emotion and cried feverishly during pregame warmups. Jones’ sadness subsided as a calm feeling came over him, as he felt his father’s presence.
“I just knew it was going to be something special,” Jones stated as he looked back at his performance against the Detroit Lions.
How Did Aaron Jones Perform Against Detroit?
Jones scored four touchdowns against the Lions that night while wearing a football pendant around his neck, holding his father’s ashes. On his second score of the night, Jones lost the necklace containing his father’s ashes. Jones mentioned he had lost the necklace to their trainer, Bryan “Flea” Engel.
Doubting @Showtyme_33 was their first mistake 💪
— NFL (@NFL) September 28, 2023
Engel told Jones, “You lost them in the right place.” Oddly enough, Engel found the necklace containing Jones’ father’s ashes at 1:45 a.m.
What Can We Expect on Thursday Night From Jones?
Jones is the most dynamic player the Packers have on offense. Green Bay needs to get the ball into Jones’ hands as a runner and receiver against a formidable Lions defensive front. Running Dillon behind their offensive line could render a stalemate.
Green Bay Packers Aaron Jones will play tonight vs Lions pic.twitter.com/NPkbl5SlX8
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) September 28, 2023
Unfortunately, Jones is still on the mend. He will play tonight, but from all accounts, the Packers’ top back will be limited and his workload scaled back.
What Will Happen to Jones and the Packers in 2023?
The Packers are one of the most underrated teams in the NFL.
Turning the page from future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers to Jordan Love has resulted in overreactions to the Packers’ demise. Green Bay still has a daunting defense and some playmakers on offense.
"The Packers offense moves the football and Aaron Jones being back will be a huge help for their passing game..
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) September 28, 2023
Ultimately, the Packers’ success will fall on Love’s shoulders, and how rapidly he develops will be the key to Green Bay’s success or downfall. Christian Watson is also returning this week, so the Packers have their full complement of weapons all season.
With the Vikings and Bears beginning their season 0-3, this game carries great importance in who will win the NFC North. The winner of Thursday night’s contest will control their destiny as the front-runner for the NFC North crown.