Good news for a Packers team that has seen COVID-19 decimate its running back room: Aaron Jones is on track to play Thursday night.
The standout running back has missed the past two games with a calf injury, but ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter reports he is expected to be active against the 49ers (Twitter link).
A.J. Dillon‘s positive coronavirus test led to the Packers’ top Jones replacement — Jamaal Williams — being deemed a high-risk close contact. On the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list, Williams and Dillon will miss tonight’s game. The Packers having Jones active would be critical, though the notoriously cautious team will see how its starter looks in pregame warmups, per Schefter.
Green Bay promoted running back Dexter Williams from its practice squad Thursday and has return specialist Tyler Ervin set to play. Were Jones to experience pregame issues with his calf, the Packers would be extremely shorthanded in their backfield. A 2019 sixth-round pick, Williams has five career carries. Despite being a 2016 draftee, Ervin has 10 career totes.
Jones has been one of the NFL’s best backs over the past two seasons. After his 19-touchdown 2019 season, the former fifth-round pick is averaging 5.2 yards per carry this year. Jones has scored seven TDs in five games. He suffered the calf injury in practice prior to Green Bay’s Week 7 game in Houston. Returning to full strength will be key for Jones, who hopes to join several of his 2017 running back draft classmates in securing a big payday. His rookie contract expires at season’s end.
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