Aaron Jones

NFL Suspends Packers RB Aaron Jones

The hits just keep on comin’. On Tuesday afternoon, the NFL announced that Packers running back Aaron Jones has been suspended for the first two games of the season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy. 

In typical fashion, the NFL has used the cover of the upcoming holiday as a cover for its less-than-positive news. First, a two-game ban was announced for 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster. Then, Rams lineman Jamon Brown was hit with a two-game suspension. Now, Jones has been sidelined for the first two weeks of the regular season.

Jones was slated to start the year as the Packers’ top ball-carrier this year, along with former wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Now, Jones will have to wait until Week 3 to take the field.

It’s likely that Jones’ ban stems from the multiple charges he picked up from a traffic stop in October of last year. Jones, who told authorities that he had smoked marijuana, pleaded not guilty to counts of speeding, driving without a valid license, and operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in his system.

Jones, 23, averaged an eye-popping 5.5 yards per carry in a limited 12-game sample for the Packers last year. This year, he’ll miss the club’s first two games against the Bears and Vikings before returning on Sept. 23 to face the Redskins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers RB Aaron Jones Facing Charges

Packers running back Aaron Jones is facing multiple charges stemming from a traffic stop in October, as Michael Cohen of the Journal Sentinel details. Jones, who told authorities that he had smoked marijuana, pleaded not guilty to counts of speeding, driving without a valid license, and operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in his system. The arrest happened on Oct. 2, but was previously unreported. Aaron Jones (vertical)

Jones is currently sidelined with a knee injury suffered against the Bears earlier this month. In a best case scenario, the 22-year-old could be back on the field in a couple of weeks. The far end of his timetable (six weeks at the time of the injury) would rule him out until Week 17 against the Lions (Dec. 31). While he’s out, Jamaal Williams will serve as Green Bay’s starting running back.

The legal run-in likely won’t affect Jones in 2017 since the NFL tends to wait for a legal resolution before acting on charges such as these. However, he may face league discipline in 2018.

The UTEP product was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated last year, so that may have some bearing on his case.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Packers RB Aaron Jones Out 3-6 Weeks

Packers running back Aaron Jones is expected to miss three-to-six weeks after suffering an MCL injury on Sunday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Aaron Jones (Vertical)

Pending an update on Ty Montgomery, Green Bay is now down to only Jamaal Williams and Devante Mays at running back, meaning the club could add to its backfield in the coming days. Montgomery suffered a rib injury in Week 10, the same issue he dealt with earlier this season. Mays was inactive on Sunday, a designation that will likely change going forward, while fullback Aaron Ripkowski can also handle backfield duties.

The Packers don’t have another running back on their practice squad that can be promoted, although the club could add another fullback — Joe Kerridge — from the taxi squad. A free agent addition is also possible, and players such as Shaun Draughn, DeAngelo Williams, Ryan Mathews, and Tim Hightower could make sense. A number of former Packers, including James Starks and Knile Davis, are also available on the open market.

Jones’ timeline allows for a variety of return dates, and the chance that he could be placed on injured reserve does exist. Such a move would force Jones to miss at least eight weeks, though, meaning he’d be out until the second round of the postseason. Green Bay, of course, isn’t anything close to a lock to earn a playoff berth without quarterback Aaron Rodgers in tow, but Sunday’s victory over the Bears improved their postseason odds to 27%, per FiveThirtyEight.

Jones, a rookie fifth-round pick out of UTEP, took over as the Packers’ starting running back following Montgomery’s initial injury. From Weeks 5-7, Jones managed two 100-yard rushing games and scored two touchdowns. He’d been splitting time with Montgomery during Green Bay’s past two contests.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Notes: Winston, Jones, Montgomery, Freeman, Brissett

Despite putting an end to their five-game losing streak this afternoon, the Buccaneers did it without their starting quarterback Jameis Winston. The former first overall pick was expected to miss “a couple of weeks” with a shoulder injury, but general manager Jason Licht admitted during the team’s pre-game show that their franchise signal caller may actually miss more time than that, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link).

“There is no time line on this, Licht said. “This may be an extended period.” Stroud did relay that Licht revealed his quarterback had no new damage to his shoulder, which is certainly encouraging news for his potential return.

However, while Ryan Fitzpatrick is 1-0 as a starter this season, it’s been a disappointing campaign for a Tampa Bay squad that was expecting to be playoff contenders after barely missing the postseason a year ago. Apart from the injury, Winston himself has not shown the development many thought he would in his third-year in the league. The 23 year-old has continued to turn the ball over this season (6 INT, 5 fumbles) and has accumulated a career-worst QBR of 41.3 in 8 games this season.

  • The Packers lost two running backs in today’s win over the division rival Bears. Ty Montgomery left the game with an apparent rib injury, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. While not ideal, it’s an ailment we’ve seen him overcome earlier in the season. But while his outlook remains unclear, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears that fellow back Aaron Jones looks to have a sprained MCL. Rapoport reports that the rookie will undergo an MRI on Monday, but has likely avoided a serious injury, even though he may miss a few weeks regardless. Third-string running back Jamaal Williams finished out the contest, but look for the team to add more depth to the position during this coming week.
  • Rapoport also passes along that Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was forced into concussion protocol during the first quarter of today’s game vs. Dallas. One of the best running backs in the NFL last year, Freeman has taken a step back along with the entire Atlanta offense in 2017. Predictably, Tevin Coleman got the bulk of the carries after Freeman left the game, and would be in line for major work in the team’s Monday night tilt vs. the Seahawks next week should Freeman not clear concussion protocol before then.
  • The Colts suffered a concussion scare of their own when starting QB Jacoby Brissett appeared lightheaded after a big hit during today’s tilt with the Steelers. However, the second-year signal caller didn’t miss much playing time after he supposedly cleared concussion testing during the team’s subsequent defensive series. But in a twist, Brissett wasn’t available for postgame comments because he was experiencing concussion-like symptoms after the close loss, according to Mike Chappell of Indy Sports Central on Twitter. The Colts have since released a statement on their own Twitter account indicating that Brissett passed two concussion tests during the contest, but then started to experience side effects after the game. It seems like a murky situation at the moment, but at the least add this development to a number of other instances this season where there was at the least some confusion regarding the NFL’s concussion protocol.

Packers Sign 15 UDFAs

Busy day in Green Bay. The Packers have signed 15 undrafted free agents while also formally signing five of their draft picks. The complete rundown is below.

Draft pick signings:

As a senior at Purdue, Yancey hauled in 49 receptions for 951 yards and 10 touchdowns. Yancey offers good size for the position at 6’2″, but scouts aren’t sure if he’ll be able to make it in the NFL because of his lack of speed burst. He’s also struggled with drops throughout his career, as NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein writes.

UDFAs:

Clark, who played basketball at St. Francis before transferring to Marshall to play football, has only one year of organized football on his resume.