The Green Bay Packers may finally be getting one of the offense’s most dynamic playmakers back on the field Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Running back Aaron Jones has been sidelined since suffering a knee injury Week 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers shared some encouraging news about his recovery and chances of returning to action this week.
“I’m feeling a lot better,” Jones told reporters Thursday. “I got to move around today at practice.” Making great strides, so I’m going to take it day by day but I feel I’m confident for Sunday.”
Prior to injury his MCL against the Chargers, Jones rushed for 245 yards with a pair of touchdowns in seven games of an injury-riddled 2023 campaign. Prior to suffering his latest knee injury, Jones was previously sidelined for three games due to a hamstring injury he sustained in the regular-season opener in Chicago against the Bears.
The fact that Jones was able to practice in a limited capacity for three days this week is an encouraging sign for the Packers’ running back.
If Jones is able to get back on the field against the Buccaneers, it would give a major boost to a Packers ground attack that ranks just 19th in the NFL.
Packers’ A.J. Dillon Bothered by Thumb Injury
Green Bay might need Jones to be ready to roll against the Buccaneers.
The Packers’ backfield has been in a bit of a state of flux in recent weeks, and was dealt a bit more adversity when it was revealed that running back A.J. Dillon is dealing with a thumb injury that he suffered during Monday night’s loss to the New York Giants.
While Dillon didn’t commit to playing against the Buccaneers, the 25-year-old says that the injury is causing significant discomfort this week.
“We’ve still got some days left in the week,” Dillon told reporters. “Those questions, I’ve got to figure out myself. If I can go, I’m going to go. I’ve played through some stuff in the past couple years or whatever that, obviously, I’m hurting but I’m good enough to go. I try to be out there if I can. That doesn’t change right now.”
Entering Week 15, Dillon is the Packers’ leading rusher, posting 574 yards with one touchdown, while serving as Green Bay’s primary back in Jones’ absence. Against the Buccaneers, the Packers could potentially have both of their backs at their disposal.
Packers vs. Bucs Carries Major Playoff Implications
The Packers’ loss to the Giants Monday night makes bouncing back against the Buccaneers critical to Green Bay’s chances of returning to the NFL Playoffs.
Entering Week 15, the 7-6 Packers hold a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints for the final NFC Wild Card as the No. 7 seed.
A victory by the Packers would go a long way towards staving off the teams behind them and potentially making headway on the NFC North rival Minnesota Vikings for the No. 6 seed. Meanwhile, for the Buccaneers, another conference victory could prove critical in the NFC South race.