Packers RB Aaron Jones nurses hamstring injury, loses valuable camp reps

-- When most people look at the Green Bay Packers' backfield, they won't muster a, "eh, whatever."

That's not what running back Aaron Jones believes, though.

Arguably the most explosive runner on the roster showed the league very well what he's capable of as a rookie, yet, he still feels the Packers' young stable of tailbacks is drastically overlooked.

Not that he's complaining.

"I feel like, when you look at the outside you have stars out there," Jones said after Monday's practice. "I hope teams sleep on us. You’ve got me plus two other backs, really three, and then our fullbacks. I feel like we can be really explosive this year.

"If teams sleep on us, that’s going to hurt them."

Regardless of how headstrong Jones is entering 2018, there's no doubt that the odds are stacked mightily against him.

Jones didn't practice on Monday -- the second padded practice of the summer and his second-straight missed practice after missing Saturday's -- due to a hamstring injury. He's also suspended for the first two games of the regular season, leaving Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery to carry the running game in his absence.

That may be the case regardless, even with Jones in the fold.

Williams has his role in the Packers' offense as arguably the best of the trio in pass protection and as a power runner. Montgomery, meanwhile, works efficiently in the passing game -- whether out of the backfield or motioned out wide -- and in the no-huddle offense.

Jones may be the most lethal runner of the three, but there's a lot more that goes into playing his position than just handing the ball off and letting him work.

The Packers may have Jones back by Thursday, according to Jones himself. There wouldn't be much sense in rushing him back too soon when his reps are still on the table and not going anywhere anytime soon.

"The more reps you get, the better you’re gonna be, so you gotta make the most of every rep you get," Jones said. "That’s what I’m gonna do."

Jones suffered a pair of MCL injuries last season, which could impact how he's viewed in the long-term. The Packers are operating as a "running back by committee" system, giving valuable carries to whoever has the hot hand by the week.

For now, Jones' hands are a crisp 40 degrees. The Packers are, however, implementing new ways to get the ball in the hands of their running backs.

"Checkdowns are going to be a big thing. ... Anytime you have No. 12 in the backfield, you get out on a route, he’s going to find you."

Even with his suspension looming, Jones can still see work during the preseason. It's just a matter of whether or not the Packers feel comfortable offering him carries during exhibition play.

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Comments (28)

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TarynsEyes's picture

July 31, 2018 at 11:07 am

"I hope teams sleep on us."

Why would they sleep on us, when they enjoy laughing at us run like we're asleep.

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Spock's picture

July 31, 2018 at 02:19 pm

Taryn, ...And why would anyone on this site believe there is any "us" in your comments??!!. As I recall you recently were bragging about how you bet on Nick Perry being injured to start camp and couldn't be prouder that you bet on a Packer player being injured so you could collect your 100 to 1 bet? That is, to my mind, SICK for a so-called Packers fan. You have succeeded in becoming the next COW (Although I don't know that he ever made that kind of bet against a Packers' player's health). I, on the other hand, swore UNDER OATH that I was a Packers fan at my disability hearing when the judge (clearly not a Packers fan) was giving me (stuff) about the Packers being my team. IMHO there is something wrong with a person who only posts negative comments about their (alleged) team. It is fine to have a healthy bit of skepticism about matters dealing with a fan's team. I just have a hard time believing you are REALLY a fan of the Packers. "Run like we're asleep"???? Jones run for the TD last year was something to dream about, yes. It is too bad you can't appreciate the GOOD things about this team and only seem to dwell on the bad things that happens. Just my opinion, but that seems like a sad way to live. My two cents, and I don't give a (crap) about how you feel about that. "Have a nice day."

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TarynsEyes's picture

July 31, 2018 at 03:40 pm

You apparently failed to grasp my sarcasm as to betting on players to be hurt. The difference between many here and myself is I'm not so easily duped into buying the unproven optimism and that is what keeps me more realistic, not pessimistic as blinded fans conclude, which allows me to have hope of better and less depressed when not received.

As for your testimonial UNDER OATH at a disability hearing and getting stuff said to you from a Judge about being a Packer fan....well...good for you...yippee,yappie and yahooey applaud you but me...I couldn't care less.

Every Packer makes a play,finds a nut and some more often than others but none other more than Rodgers. The most consistent aspect of most are them getting hurt and missing games and not to forgot being missing when in games.

I consider myself a real Packer fan because I will not gloss over the yearly bad for a few good moments or playoffs being marked as success while having the best QB in the league.

I don't care how you feel about that. " Have a nice day yourself."

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Spock's picture

July 31, 2018 at 05:14 pm

Taryn, Yes, I missed that was "Sarcasm" about the bet; I guess I'm "easily duped" since you and Vegas Tom regularly talked about betting on odds for the Packers. My bad, I guess. By the way, if you are going to use sarcasm, for the "easily duped" people like me it's customary to help us "fools" by adding the tilde (~~~~~~~) to your comments. :) I'm glad that you didn't, in fact, place said bet (I'll take you at your word) as that makes me feel a little silly about the rest of your comments. I have no problem (as I said) about a healthy realistic view of the team. It just seems to me you are (again in my opinion) way too pessimistic in general about the team. I guess then I'm way too optimistic for your taste. :) Whatever. I'm more of a glass half full kind of guy. To each their own. -And, seriously, do have a nice day as that's probably harder to do as a pessimist, lol. I appreciate your response as it clears up some of your comments for me. Fans are fans in their own way, I just don't understand how being pessimistic about your team makes you happy, but whatever floats your boat. Peace, Taryn.

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Oppy's picture

July 31, 2018 at 03:52 pm

I'm pretty sure this bickering is the sports fan equivalent of mid-training camp scuffles between the players.

It's just been so long since we had football, we're all getting edgy and need a real opponent to hit. Let's get to the season!

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ShanghaiKid's picture

July 31, 2018 at 10:21 pm

Well played Oppy haha

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DD's picture

August 01, 2018 at 07:56 am

Run the ball? With MM don't bet a dime on that. As far as Jones, he's made his own bed. Cheap talk, suspension, and now a hamstring. He better hope he even gets back into a game! So count on Jones? Hummmm....

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Handsback's picture

July 31, 2018 at 11:13 am

If AJ wants the lion share of carries...he better find a way to get on the field. Lots of good players that aren't in the league because they couldn't stay healthy. I know, over-reaction, but the young man needs to understand it's a business with replaceable parts.

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Oppy's picture

July 31, 2018 at 11:19 am

Understanding doesn't magically make the body impervious to injury, though. I have no reason to believe Aaron Jones isn't training. stretching, eating appropriately. That would be the only reason to fault him for his body not holding up.

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Spock's picture

July 31, 2018 at 02:23 pm

They said in the interview with Jones today that "had it been a game" he would of played today and he expects to be back on the field later this week. I'm not worried about his preparation at this time.

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DD's picture

July 31, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Jones should be very concerned. Injury, two important games out for to stupidity. I'd worry if I were him. He can be replaced!

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cuervo's picture

July 31, 2018 at 12:56 pm

He can't be replaced, at least not easily. There hasn't been a running back in GB since Ahman Green that has the big play ability of Jones.

If our objective is to get 3.2 ypc out of our running game, by all means play Williams. If our objective is to actually make the running game something other teams have to worry about, Jones should be getting 60-70% of all the carries.

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ShanghaiKid's picture

July 31, 2018 at 01:06 pm

I very much agree with Cuervo. Having a back that’s explosive, and makes good reads was a revelation. When was the last time we really saw a back take one to the house like Jones vs NO last season? Last time that I can think of was Green. You don’t let guys like that walk out the door on a first offense.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

July 31, 2018 at 01:32 pm

He can be replaced. Eddie Lacy was replaced. I agree Jones is an explosive player. So was Eddie Lacy. But he can't be explosive if he is sitting on the bench, regardless of the reason he is not playing.

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Christopher Gennaro's picture

July 31, 2018 at 07:22 pm

I know anyone can be replaced, but that Dallas game when Lacy jumped the defender on a bad ankle, still makes me mad. Lacy was gone a number of reasons, but I still hate how he was used in tha game by the coaching staff.

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billybobton's picture

July 31, 2018 at 12:49 pm

Replaced?
Yes and TEs can be replaced too, but how many years did it take?

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ShanghaiKid's picture

July 31, 2018 at 01:08 pm

4 years too long, and even then Graham is entering the, “back 9” of his career. They still, really don’t have a long term solution there.

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4thand1's picture

July 31, 2018 at 01:16 pm

Don't get worked up people. MM will not push potential starters in pre season. The good thing is we'll see a lot of the young wr's and rb's, and hopefully The Kizer will get most of the reps at QB.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

July 31, 2018 at 01:26 pm

Just what the Packers need, more freaking injuries!! Jones is already going to miss 2 games because of his stupidity and now missing reps in practice isn't looking good for him. The team will move on, with or without him. And wasn't Jones injured last year as well? Not doing the team any good if he can't stay healthy. The team moved on from Eddie Lacy and he was injured a lot. So they can do the same with Aaron Jones as well. This could open the door for Mays if he can improve his ball handling and not fumble. I am an Aaron Jones fan, but am a bigger Packers fan!! I hope Jones can get his act together, for himself, and for the Packer organization. Go! Pack! Go!

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dobber's picture

July 31, 2018 at 01:38 pm

"Just what the Packers need, more freaking injuries!! Jones is already going to miss 2 games because of his stupidity and now missing reps in practice isn't looking good for him."

One might argue that's all the more reason for the Packers to take their time with him. Look at other players, look at different combinations. He's not a rookie. He's seen the playbook. Just get him right, first. Soft tissue injuries have a way of lingering.

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TheBigCheeze's picture

July 31, 2018 at 04:42 pm

....these damn fools smoke their pot.....get busted......then complain that it should be legal for their "pain"......IT'S A BANNED SUBSTANCE!!!!.....the legality argument is moot.......

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PAPackerbacker's picture

July 31, 2018 at 06:00 pm

Agreed. Rules are made for everyone to follow. Why would anyone jeopardize millions to do drugs? I simply don't understand it at all.

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Oppy's picture

July 31, 2018 at 06:41 pm

You will never be able to understand, it's youthful stupidity- a condition that only takes affect for a few years, while young.

The most interesting thing about Youthful Stupidity is that nearly all humans go through it, but a residual effect of YS is that during the fever pitch the body must work up in order to overcome the affliction, the part of the brain tasked with actually remembering what it's like to have youthful stupidity is completely wiped clean, with no trace, leaving full grown adults unable to fathom WTF these young people are thinking when they do stupid s$%#.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

July 31, 2018 at 08:53 pm

LOL. I have Total Recall of YS. Mostly.

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Oppy's picture

August 01, 2018 at 01:50 am

Is that pleasant or nightmarish? I'm pretty sure I'm blessed not to remember all the YS I displayed.

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Tundraboy's picture

August 01, 2018 at 09:06 am

I'm an elephant,for better or worse, l remember just about everything.

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Spock's picture

August 01, 2018 at 05:27 pm

I have got a memory like an elephant; I remember peanuts.

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dobber's picture

August 01, 2018 at 08:09 am

Look at guys like Randy Gregory who is going to smoke his way out of the league....or Josh Gordon and Justin Blackmon: those are elite athletes with difference-making talent. Blackmon's already pissed it away and Gordon seems to be trying. People like me who don't have an ounce of athleticism (I can run in a straight line without falling over...does that count?) will never understand it...

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