The Green Bay Packers defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 23-20 on Sunday afternoon. The win improved Green Bay’s record to 4-6 and put them in the hunt for a NFC Playoff spot. It was a back-and-forth affair with the Packers not sealing the win until a defensive stop (helped by a few Chargers’ wide receiver drops) with less than a minute left in the game.
As has become the unfortunate norm for the Packers this season, the game saw them lose several crucial players to injury, whether it was for a few snaps or perhaps longer term with something more serious.
Yesterday, it was running back Aaron Jones who went down with what appeared to be a serious knee injury. He was ruled out for the rest of the game, though told reporters afterwards that initial testing ruled out a ACL tear. He will have an MRI today (Monday) to determine the severity of the injury,
He also told reporters that, after he was injured and sent to the locker room, he did one thing against the advice/orders of his coaches and trainers.
Aaron Jones Left the Green Bay Packers Locker Room to Be with His Teammates
Jones was not the only Packers’ running back to go down. Rookie Emanuel Wilson left the game with a dislocated shoulder that the medical staff could not pop back in. He, too, will be getting tests done today to determine the severity of the injury.
Wilson’s injury meant that AJ Dillon was the only healthy running back the Packers had for the remainder of the game. Jones could not abide Dillon facing that obstacle alone, so he snuck back onto the sideline even though he was told to stay in the locker room:
Aaron Jones: “Thirteen minutes left in the fourth, I went out there. They told me to stay back here (in the locker room) … I realize it’s only AJ in the game, so just to get in his ear & be there for the offense. I knew if they see me, it would kind of lift them a little bit.”
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) November 19, 2023
It certainly helped! The Packers’ offense scored the go-ahead touchdown with 2:33 remaining in the game to take the lead. While Jones was simply on the sidelines, the effect he has on his teammates cannot be denied.
After the game, AJ Dillon revealed the message Jones had for him and Wilson:
#Packers RB AJ Dillon on the Packers losing their other two running backs, Aaron Jones & Emanuel Wilson, for the remainder of the game and what Jones told Dillon postgame👇
— 97.3 The Game (@TheGameMKE) November 19, 2023
The Packers play the Detroit Lions on Thursday, Thanksgiving, and their running back position is very shallow at the moment.
It will be interesting to see what they do or who they bring in for that contest, just three days away.
No matter who it is, Jones showed, even with an injury, he is an irreplaceable leader. The Packers would do well to figure out some way to keep him next season.
Sure, his cap hit is going to be bigger, and yes, he is getting older. But on a team so young and so inexperienced, Jones has been a constant voice of reason and encouragement.
The Packers would be foolish to cut him loose.