Aaron Jones

NFC North Notes: Bears, Vikings, Reader

Coleman Shelton started every Rams game at center last season, and the former UDFA logged a few starts there during the 2022 season. The Bears gave Shelton only a one-year, $3MM deal, however. Already rostering guards Teven Jenkins and Nate Davis, the Bears may view Shelton as a backup. This is because Chicago acquired Ryan Bates from Buffalo. Given a Bears RFA offer sheet in 2022, Bates remains attached to that contract (four years, $17MM). He looks more likely to be the favorite for Bears center duties than Shelton, ESPN.com’s Courtney Cronin notes.

Bates, 27, does not have a notable history at center. At Penn State, he primarily played left tackle. The Bills used him primarily at guard, with Mitch Morse previously entrenched at center. Despite Buffalo matching the 2022 Chicago offer sheet, the team added two new guards — Connor McGovern, O’Cyrus Torrence — in 2023. Bates did not start a game for the Bills last season, but the ex-UDFA looks set to have a good shot at taking over at center for the Bears.

Here is the latest from the NFC North:

  • The Bears’ four-year, $76MM Jaylon Johnson extension features an out in 2026. The deal calls for $10.6MM of Johnson’s $15.1MM 2026 base salary to be guaranteed for injury, but no skill guarantees are in place beyond 2025. KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes $7.6MM of Johnson’s 2026 base will shift to a full guarantee if the Pro Bowl cornerback is on the roster by that date. With no true guarantees on this deal post-2025, the Bears could get out with just $5MM in dead money (in the event of a post-June 1 cut) in 2026.
  • The Vikings have been active in using void years under GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. This practice cost the team when Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Tomlinson departed, but it is turning to cap space-saving measure heavily this year as well. Minnesota included four void years in Sam Darnold, Aaron Jones and Andrew Van Ginkel‘s deals, with three void years used to spread out the three-year, $22.5MM Blake Cashman contract’s cap hits. While this will create some dead money if these players are not re-signed before their contracts officially expire, the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling observes it created some cap space in the event the Vikes need to carry a bigger 2024 cap number for Justin Jefferson, who has been on the extension radar for two years. That said, Jefferson’s 2024 cap figure is already at $19.7MM on the fifth-year option.
  • Looking elsewhere on the Vikings’ payroll, their Jonathan Greenard deal (four years, $76MM) features $42MM in total guarantees. The contract includes $4MM guaranteed for 2026, per Goessling. Though, that money is classified as injury guarantees, providing the Vikes — like the Bears with Johnson — some flexibility down the road on a $19MM-AAV contract.
  • Rounding up some Minnesota contract matters, Goessling adds Shaquill Griffin‘s one-year contract is worth $4.55MM and features $3.99MM fully guaranteed. The Vikings are giving Jonathan Bullard a one-year, $2.25MM deal to stay, per Goessling, who adds Dan Feeney‘s contract to come over from the Bears is worth $1.8MM. Jonah Williams, the defensive lineman, signed a one-year, $1.5MM deal that includes $350K guaranteed, Goessling offers. Jihad Ward‘s one-year accord is worth $1.8MM and includes $1MM guaranteed, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan tweets.
  • Initially labeled as being worth up to $27.25MM, D.J. Reader‘s Lions pact contains $22MM in base value. The Lions are only guaranteeing the veteran nose tackle $7.4MM at signing, per OverTheCap. Coming off his second quad tear in four years, Reader would receive a $4MM roster bonus on Day 3 of the 2025 league year. That date will certainly be pivotal for his Detroit future.
  • Arrested on a fourth-degree DWI charge in December, Vikings OC Wes Phillips pleaded guilty to a lesser charge recently. The third-year Minnesota OC pleaded guilty to a careless driving charge, Fox 9’s Jeff Wald notes. Phillips, 45, agreed to pay a $378 fine and will serve eight hours of community service.

Packers HC Matt LaFleur Surprised By RB Moves

The Packers were one of the major players in the free agent RB carousel. The team couldn’t convince Aaron Jones to take a pay cut, leading to the veteran’s release. The Packers quickly scooped up former Raiders star Josh Jacobs as Jones’ replacement, completely revamping the top of their depth chart.

[RELATED: Packers Sign RB Josh Jacobs]

While it seemed likely that the Packers would approach Jones about a reduced salary, there weren’t many people who anticipated the Packers pivoting to a different star running back. That includes head coach Matt LaFleur, who admitted to reporters this week that he was caught “off guard” by the sudden moves.

“There were some other things in play, obviously with Aaron Jones, and I didn’t quite know how everything was going to go,” LaFleur said (via Jason Wilde of Madison.com). “It just happened really fast on that Monday. … It happened really fast, so I don’t know all the details of that. I’m not involved in those types of conversations. But we were super excited (to get Jacobs).”

Jacobs shouldn’t have any issues replacing Jones’ production. Following a 2022 campaign where he led the NFL with 2,053 yards from scrimmage in 17 games, Jacobs was limited to only 13 contests in 2024. Still, the 26-year-old managed to top 1,100 yards from scrimmage, although that was partly due to him garnering more than 20 touches per game. Jones followed up four-straight seasons of 1,000-yard production with 889 yards from scrimmage in 13 games this past season.

The team will also be counting on Jacobs to fill the leadership void left by Jones, although LaFleur told reporters that he’s challenged Jordan Love to step into a larger vocal role. Jones left the franchise with the third-most rushing yards in team history, and the head coach acknowledged that moving on from the veteran was “really tough.”

“[Jones has] always been team first,” LaFleur said (via Wilde). “He walks the walk, and he does everything. He’s just such a pro, [and] that’s always tough to replace.”

The Packers will have some continuity on their depth chart in AJ Dillon. The organization hit the former second-round running back with the rarely used four-year qualifying offer, locking the player into a one-year deal.

Vikings To Sign RB Aaron Jones

MARCH 13: The pay cut the Packers offered checked in south of what Jones will make with the Vikings. Green Bay proposed slashing Jones’ $11MM 2024 base salary to less than $4MM, per The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman, with $2MM in incentives dangled. The Vikings are giving Jones a $6MM base salary on a deal that includes $1MM in incentives.

After Jones agreed to a $5MM pay cut in 2023 — in exchange for 2023 guarantees — Schneidman adds the seven-year veteran did not want to take another reduction in this range. Although Jones will end up taking a cut from his original 2024 salary number, he lessened the damage by leaving for the Vikings, who will give him an opportunity to remain a starter.

MARCH 12: Aaron Jones‘ time with the Packers is up, but he will remain in the NFC North in 2024. The Pro Bowl running back has agreed to a one-year, $7MM deal with the Vikings, Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network report.

Green Bay attempted to work out a pay cut with Jones to ensure his time with the team continued. No agreement could be reached, however, and the team pivoted by releasing him and agreeing to terms with Josh Jacobs on a four-year, $48MM deal. The latter will carry the load moving forward with his new team, but plenty of touches will be available for Jones in Minnesota.

Jones was due to earn $12MM in 2024 on his Packers contract, but the team wanted him to take a 50% pay cut. It will be interesting to see how this Vikings deal is arranged with respect to guaranteed money as a result. In any case, today’s agreement comes as no surprise, given a Monday report indicating Minnesota was eyeing Jones on a deal which can be finalized at any time since he was released.

The 29-year-old topped 1,000 rushing yards three times during his seven-year stint in Green Bay. Jones has also been a notable contributor in the passing game during his career, recording between 395 and 474 yards through the air each season from 2019-22. He was limited to 11 games last season, however, and as a result his production fell considerably (889 scrimmage yards, three total touchdowns). His 4.6 regular season yards per carry average was also the lowest of his career.

In much better shape from a health perspective down the stretch, however, Jones showed flashes of his old self in the postseason. The former fifth-rounder racked up 226 yards and three touchdowns across the wild-card and divisional rounds, suggesting he could remain a productive lead back in the future. He will certainly have the opportunity to do so with Minnesota, given the team’s decision to move on from Dalvin Cook last offseason as well as his RB1 replacement (Alexander Mattison) last month.

The Vikings’ offense will of course look much different under center with Sam Darnold (or a passer added in the first round of April’s draft) in place as a Kirk Cousins replacement. Minnesota ranked fifth in the league with respect to passing yards per game in 2023 – despite the time Cousins missed with an Achilles injury – but only 29th on the ground. Jones and the team will look to improve in the latter regard during what will be a transition year in Minnesota.

Vikings Interested In RB Aaron Jones; Packers Offered Pay Cut

One of the busiest days involving starting running backs in the position’s history, Monday may feature another move. At least, one appears in play.

The Vikings are interested in longtime Packers RB Aaron Jones, The Athletic’s Dianna Russini and Matt Schneidman report. This would be an interesting fit, as Minnesota moved on from its 2017 RB draftee — Dalvin Cook — last year. The Vikings also moved on from their Cook replacement option, Alexander Mattison, creating some uncertainty atop the depth chart.

Green Bay attempted to retain Jones, but Schneidman indicates that came with a significant pay-cut offer. The Packers wanted Jones to reduce his salary by at least 50%. Jones passed, but the Packers gave Josh Jacobs the same $12MM-AAV accord they once gave Jones (back in 2021). Jones declined the Packers’ final offer Friday, leading to today’s release.

The Vikings are certainly familiar with Jones, having played against the fifth-round success story a number of times since his 2017 debut. Jones joined Cook as one of this era’s most productive backs, being a better option through the air.

Jones battled through knee and hamstring injuries last season but delivered for the Pack down the stretch. The 29-year-old back ripped off five straight 100-yard rushing games to both secure Green Bay playoff entry and then power the team to the precipice of the NFC title game. Although Packers GM Brian Gutekunst expected Jones to be back for an eighth season in Wisconsin, the pay-cut attempt led to a separation.

Ty Chandler remains on the Vikings’ roster; two seasons are left on the end-of-season starter’s rookie contract. Many teams also filled their RB slots today, with the likes of Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, D’Andre Swift, Tony Pollard, Devin Singletary, Antonio Gibson and Austin Ekeler finding homes. Jones showed in January he remains a high-end talent, but he will turn 30 before next season ends. His next contract, despite what Jacobs and Barkley fetched today, will not approach the four-year, $48MM Packers pact he once signed.

But it would still obviously be interesting if the longtime Packer starter landed in Minnesota and enjoyed the opportunity to face his former team twice in 2024.

Packers To Release RB Aaron Jones

In a move which comes as no surprise given Green Bay’s Josh Jacobs deal, Aaron Jones is on the way out. The latter has been informed by the Packers he will be released, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. The move has now officially taken place, per Dianna Russini of The Athletic. As such, Jones is free to sign at any time.

The Packers and Jones were able to work out a pay-cut agreement last year, but the sides could not come to terms after recent negotiations. Green Bay may well have wanted Jones to take another cut, having attempted to bring down his cap number recently. Failing to reach a resolution will help bring Josh Jacobs to Wisconsin and send Jones to a market that has seen big movement today. This will not be a post-June 1 cut, per OverTheCap’s Jason Fitzgerald.

Jones accepted a $5MM trim in exchange for 2023 guarantees; that reworking inflated his 2024 cap number to $17.6MM. The Packers did not want to go into free agency with that number on their payroll, so they will sever one of the longest-tenured RB partnerships in franchise history. Jones rewarded the Pack on his four-year, $48MM deal from 2021, and although last season featured multiple injuries, the former fifth-round pick zoomed to five straight 100-yard games to close out the season. That certainly played a major role in the Packers reaching the divisional round, where they pushed the eventual NFC champion 49ers to the brink.

Excelling in the passing game and on the ground, Jones has been one of the NFL’s best backs over the past several seasons. He does join a host of big-name RBs in being released or seeing their pay reduced in recent years. Jones will follow Ezekiel Elliott and Dalvin Cook in being cut from an eight-figure-AAV contract over the past year. Other backs — Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, Antonio Gibson, Devin Singletary and D’Andre Swift — have found homes already, thinning out the market. But Jones still should have a chance to start somewhere due to his talent.

Jones, 29, made the Pro Bowl in 2020 and totaled 1,500-plus scrimmage yards in 2019 and ’23. He helped a Packers team featuring next to no skill-position experience last season. Jacobs will provide that, but that move comes after GM Brian Gutekunst said he expected Jones to be back in 2024. The team is not expected to re-sign AJ Dillon, leading to a new era in the Green Bay backfield.

Packers Aiming To Reduce Aaron Jones’ Cap Number, Not Expected To Re-Sign AJ Dillon

Just more than a year ago, the Packers helped lay the groundwork for a rough running back year. They reached a pay-cut agreement with Aaron Jones, ensuring he would stay for the 2023 season. That pact paid off, with Jones helping drive the team to the divisional round.

GM Brian Gutekunst said earlier this offseason the team planned to retain Jones, who is going into his age-29 season. But the Packers are interested in lowering Jones’ $17MM 2024 cap number. With this being the final year of the talented running back’s contract, such a reduction is a trickier matter.

Packers brass and Jones’ agent met Friday about making the change, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Tom Silverstein. It is unclear how the sides plan to accomplish this goal. Also unclear: how motivated Green Bay is to make the move. An all-or-nothing effort on this front would naturally put Jones’ roster spot in jeopardy. An extension would help here, as going deeper into the void years well would increase dead money associated with the contract-year RB.

Jones accepted a $5MM reduction in exchange for an $8.52MM signing bonus last February. The void years from that adjustment run through 2027. Were Jones to depart as a free agent next year, the Pack would be hit with $6.6MM in dead money. Should Green Bay release the productive back now, a post-June 1 designation would probably be necessary. That would only leave the team with $5.7MM in 2024 dead money, while bringing more than $11MM in cap savings. That said, Jones remains a valuable piece and the only veteran presence among the team’s skill-position corps.

A four-year Packer contributor, AJ Dillon is on track for free agency. The between-the-tackles bulldozer is not expected to be re-signed, Silverstein adds. Although Jones battled hamstring and knee injuries in 2023, he returned and ripped off a borderline-dominant stretch to help the Packers make a late-season charge that ended with the team putting a scare into the eventual NFC champion 49ers in Round 2. Jones put together for five consecutive 100-plus-yard rushing games to close the season. Dillon did not fare as well in a contract year.

The former second-round pick averaged a career-low 3.4 yards per carry, scoring just two touchdowns. The Packers leaned on their experienced RBs last season, deploying a WR-TE contingent consisting entirely of first- or second-year players. Dillon totaled 1,573 rushing yards and 12 TDs between the 2021 and ’22 seasons, becoming a popular presence in Green Bay despite a limited pass-game skillset.

Jones is one of the game’s best dual-threat backs, and the Packers would certainly miss the former fifth-round pick if he was jettisoned. That said, a host of options will be available to RB-needy teams in free agency. That spells trouble for Dillon, who joins Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Austin Ekeler, Derrick Henry, Tony Pollard, D’Andre Swift and Gus Edwards as notable backs set to hit the market. The Bengals may add Joe Mixon to this list soon as well. This would help the team with Jones, who is due an $11.1MM base salary next season. Though, it is unclear if the Packers are planning another pay-cut ultimatum.

The Packers recently created some cap space by restructuring the contracts of Preston Smith and Rashan Gary, per ESPN.com’s Field Yates and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero. The moves created more than $7MM in cap space together. Green Bay, which is also likely to release David Bakhtiari, currently holds just more than $14MM in cap room.

Packers Expect To Retain Aaron Jones, Not Considering Jaire Alexander Trade

The 2023 offseason involved multiple teams moving pricey running back contracts off their payroll, while others — the Packers included — reached pay-cut agreements with veteran starters. Aaron Jones‘ contract runs through 2024 and sees its cap number increase significantly, seemingly putting the accomplished back on unstable ground.

GM Brian Gutekunst may be putting a stop to talk of Jones leaving Green Bay, however, indicating (via The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman) the Packers “absolutely” expect their starting running back to be on the 2024 roster. Jones has been with the Packers since 2017. Of the deep 2017 RB draft class, only he, Alvin Kamara and Joe Mixon remain with the teams that selected them.

Jones agreed to take a $5MM pay cut last February, with that deal adding an $8.52MM signing bonus. The restructure added void years to the veteran back’s deal and trimmed his 2023 cap figure to $8.2MM. The cap hit spikes to $17MM in 2024, potentially pointing to another Packers move to address their top RB’s deal.

He was such a difference-maker when he was out there this year, the way our offense was able to move,” Gutekunst said. “He changed a lot of the way we operated when he was in there and when he was healthy. He’s just really the heartbeat of our team.”

A Jones extension would make sense, as the void years on the current deal would bring a $6.6MM dead-money hit if he is not re-signed before the 2025 league year. Though, teams are no longer making a habit of reupping backs in their late 20s. The Packers gave Jones a four-year, $48MM deal just before free agency in 2021, changing course after several years of not paying running backs. The NFL largely opted to squeeze RBs last year, bringing another value drop for a position long past its prestige peak.

Jones, 29, missed time this season due to MCL and hamstring issues. These injuries caused the seven-year veteran to miss six games. But the UTEP alum proved effective when available, finishing the season surging. Returning to action in Week 14, the former fifth-round pick closed the season with five consecutive 100-yard rushing performances. This counted two in the playoffs, springing the Packers past the Cowboys and nearly upsetting the No. 1-seeded 49ers six days later. Jones’ veteran presence certainly helped a Packer team reliant on nothing but first- or second-year pass catchers.

AJ Dillon is coming off a sluggish contract year, being set to hit free agency at a bad time — as a crowded RB market is set to form. Jones being released — a move that would come with $12MM in dead money without a post-June 1 designation — would send him to a market that could well house Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler, Tony Pollard and D’Andre Swift. Dillon is unlikely to secure a lucrative deal on this market. The Packers losing Jones would also create a major need, albeit at a position that is among the easiest to fill.

Additionally, Gutekunst made an effort to cool down Jaire Alexander trade rumors. The longtime Packers GM said, via Schneidman, no consideration is being given to trading Alexander. Following Alexander’s coin-toss fiasco that led to a one-game suspension, a report injected doubt about the highly paid cornerback’s Wisconsin future. The Packers owe Alexander an $8MM roster bonus on March 20.

The Packers gave Alexander a four-year, $84MM extension — one that remains the NFL’s high-water AAV mark for corners — in 2022 but have seen the former first-round pick miss extensive time due to injuries over the past three seasons. After a shoulder malady cost Alexander most of the 2021 season, he missed 10 games this year. That and the costly contract dent Alexander’s trade value. That said, Pro Football Focus rated the six-year veteran in the top 25 at the position this season.

Aaron Rodgers Eyeing Trade For Davante Adams; Other Packers On Jets’ Radar?

The Jets are officially retaining Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh; they are expected to keep OC Nathaniel Hackett as well. Jets decision to run back this trio would not go over well with a notable sect of the fanbase. The team is riding the longest playoff drought in major North American sports, but ownership is prepared to give the group a pass after Aaron Rodgers‘ Achilles tear sank this season.

With Rodgers having what certainly appears to be considerable say in the Jets’ decision-making, it should then be expected the team will listen to him regarding 2024 personnel moves. Already pegged as being prepared to pursue Davante Adams in 2024, the Jets look certain to make a genuine pursuit to reunite Rodgers with his former No. 1 Packers target. The Raiders wide receiver appears on Rodgers’ 2024 watch list, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes.

[RELATED: Jets Keeping GM Joe Douglas, HC Robert Saleh]

Rodgers’ 2023 wish list should probably give the Jets pause about more acquisitions driven by their quarterback. Allen Lazard went from signing an $11MM-per-year contract (with $22MM fully guaranteed, most among free agent wideouts this offseason) to being a healthy scratch for a game this season. After producing a career-high 788 receiving yards with the 2022 Packers, Lazard has 311 this season. Randall Cobb has four catches this season, and Dalvin Cook‘s $7MM contract has produced little. But an Adams addition would present a much higher floor.

The Raiders also continue to be linked to considering a trade. With the power brokers that signed off on the Adams trade (Josh McDaniels, Dave Ziegler) gone, ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano indicates there is a strong chance either the Raiders or Adams determines by the 2024 offseason this partnership should end after two years.

Adams, who turns 31 today, is 32 yards away from his fifth 1,000-yard season. A first-team All-Pro three years running, Adams has taken a step back this season. Voicing frustration about his role in the Raiders’ offense this year, Adams will likely finish well shy of his 1,516-yard 2022 showing in Las Vegas. With the Raiders closer to rebuilding after the ousters of McDaniels, Ziegler and OC Mick Lombardi, Adams could well be traded for the second time in three years.

It would cost the Raiders $23.6MM in dead money to trade Adams before June 1 of next year. Though new regimes are not as concerned with accumulating dead money associated with players previous staffs brought in, Champ Kelly is firmly on the radar to be retained as the Raiders’ full-time GM. Kelly was in place as assistant GM when the Raiders traded first- and second-round picks for Adams in March 2022. While Adams remains a high-end wideout, it would likely not cost as much for the Jets to pry him from the Raiders as it did for Las Vegas to obtain the then-franchise-tagged target.

More Packers may be on Rodgers’ 2024 list as well. The quarterback is a strong Aaron Jones backer, Cimini adds, and his friendship with David Bakhtiari is well documented. The Packers will likely release Bakhtiari after another injury-abbreviated season. The Jets need help at tackle and were briefly linked to a Bakhtiari pursuit this summer, but the 32-year-old blocker’s injury trouble since his New Year’s Eve 2020 ACL tear will limit his market.

It is unclear if the Packers will jettison Jones, though they would be tagged with barely $5MM in dead money if they designated the talented veteran as a post-June 1 cut. Jones joined Adams in being one of the Packers’ best skill-position players during Rodgers’ tenure, but he remains valuable to the team. Though, one season remains on Jones’ reworked contract. And the Packers pivoted heavily toward a youth movement in the wake of the Rodgers trade. AJ Dillon is unsigned for 2024. With Cook almost definitely not coming back and Michael Carter being waived recently, the Jets will be looking for a new Breece Hall backup.

Rodgers’ influence and importance to the Jets may lead to a significant say in 2024 personnel moves, but he is officially shut down for the 2023 season. His comeback from September Achilles surgery falling short still led to the Jets using an IR activation. Rodgers is believed to have resisted such a move, per Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, since he now takes up a roster spot despite not factoring into the team’s gameday plans. Douglas and Saleh made the push to activate Rodgers so he can continue practicing.

Packers’ Aaron Jones Dealing With MCL Sprain

The Packers were shorthanded in the backfield to close out their Week 11 win, and they appear to be on track to not have Aaron Jones in the fold in the immediate future. Green Bay’s lead back is dealing with an MCL sprain, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Jones is considered week-to-week as a result of the injury he picked up during Sunday’s win over the Chargers. While nothing has been completely ruled out at this point, the news makes is highly unlikely Jones will be available for the Packers’ upcoming Thanksgiving game against the Lions. In the wake of third-string back Emanuel Wilson going down in Week 11 as well, Green Bay has added a couple of depth RB options.

The Packers brought back Patrick Taylor by signing him off the Patriots’ practice squad yesterday. They also added James Robinson to the taxi squad once again, giving them a pair of familiar faces in time for Thursday’s game in the event Jones is unable to suit up. If that turns out to be the case, the latter will have missed four games this season, after a hamstring ailment cost him a trio of contests earlier in the year.

Jones has had a down year so far, averaging a career-low 3.7 yards per carry. The 28-year-old has received double-digit carries only twice this season and eclipsed 70 rushing yards once. Those struggles – which of course can be explained to a degree by Green Bay’s injury woes along the offensive line – have contributed to the Packers’ poor overall showing on the ground. The team currently sits 21st in the NFL with an average of 102 rushing yards per game.

Head coach Matt LaFleur indicated (via Matt Schneidman of The Athletic) he does not think Jones will require a stint on injured reserve. Being placed on IR would require an absence of at least four weeks, so avoiding such a scenario would leave the door open to a return in the near future. Still, missing Jones for any length of time will deal a blow to the Packers’ Jordan Love-led offense, a unit which has struggled to find consistent production in 2023.

Presuming Jones misses at least Green Bay’s Week 12 matchup, AJ Dillon will serve as the team’s lead back against the Lions. The latter has also been less efficient than normal this season, but he will be counted on to shoulder an increased workload in at least the short term.

NFL Injury Roundup: Packers, Bosa, Becton

The Packers were down to just one healthy running back today when both starting running back Aaron Jones and undrafted rookie third-stringer Emanuel Wilson were ruled out of today’s win over the Chargers after both sustained injuries in the team’s final drive of the first half.

After Jones exited the game with a knee injury, Green Bay’s big-bodied AJ Dillon came in to take over for Jones. A few plays later, Wilson came in to spell Dillon for two plays. On the second play, Wilson was pushed out of bounds, where he sustained the injury that would hold him out for the remainder of the contest. While not very effective, Dillon would take over the rushing load for the rest of the day. The rushing game did get a little extra boost thanks to a 32-yard touchdown run from wide receiver Jayden Reed before the two backs were knocked out.

After the game had ended, head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters that he didn’t believe the injury to Jones’ knee would be a long-term ailment, according to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. If Jones or Wilson are forced to miss any time, though, the only in-house option is rookie practice squad running back Ellis Merriweather.

Here are a couple other injury updates from today’s games:

  • Chargers star pass rusher Joey Bosa was ruled out of today’s loss to the Packers with a foot injury. It was a dire-looking scene as Bosa was carted off the sideline in tears. While no official diagnosis has been released, Bosa was seen on the sideline later with crutches and a walking boot on his right foot, per The Athletic’s Daniel Popper.
  • In the afternoon slate, the Jets got off to a rough start in their divisional matchup when starting left tackle Mekhi Becton left the game, walking gingerly off the field on the team’s third drive. He would eventually be carted off to the locker room for further evaluation, per Brian Costello of the New York Post. According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, Becton was ruled out for the remainder of the game with a suspected high ankle sprain.