Packers’ Aaron Jones, Emanuel Wilson carted off with injuries
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Jones feared the worst when he was carted off Lambeau Field, towel over his head and hands over his face, in the second quarter of Sunday’s 23-20 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
As emotional as the Green Bay Packers‘ starting running back was on his way to the locker room, he sounded equally relieved after the game as he revealed that initial tests showed he avoided an ACL tear or anything else major.
“Like if it’s my ACL, then I’m done for the season,” Jones said when asked what he was thinking on the cart. “I put in a lot work, put in a lot of time to be here with these guys and for it to go out like that, I was feeling like, ‘Man, I can’t catch a break.’ But caught a break. Hopefully it’s not anything serious and I’m back here pretty soon.”
Earlier this season, Jones missed three games because of a hamstring injury.
It’s unlikely that Jones or backup running back Emanuel Wilson (shoulder) will be available for the quick-turnaround game at Detroit on Thursday, so the Packers will almost certainly have to sign at least one back.
“I don’t think it’s long term,” coach Matt LaFleur said of Jones’ injury. “Certainly, I think it really looked bad. I was really concerned just seeing it live. I didn’t see a replay or anything, but seeing it live it did not look good. But he’s in good spirits in there and so hopefully it’s just a short-term deal.”
Both players will undergo tests Monday that will determine the timeline for a return.
Wilson was injured on the same drive as Jones. He caught a 9-yard pass and was run out of bounds by the Chargers’ Kenneth Murray.
“I ran into him,” said Wilson, whose left arm was in a sling after the game. “Was trying to get extra yardage and then that situation happened. I felt it, I thought it was a stinger and then the pain hit and I just went down.”
That drive ended with a 28-yard field goal to tie the game at 10-10 just before halftime and left the Packers with only one healthy running back: AJ Dillon, who finished the game with 14 carries for 29 yards.
Jones appeared to get his leg caught underneath him while he was being tackled by Murray and and defensive lineman Nick Williams.
“So they went to go tackle me on the right, like my right foot,” Jones said. “They missed and I kinda picked it up and it was laying on the defender’s helmet and my left leg was in the ground and somebody had me and my cleats were in the ground and I think it was Kenneth Murray comes down and I’m already like kinda low and I just absorbed all of that, that was in the ground — knee, hip and groin — felt it all. It felt awful.”
An ACL tear might have ended Jones’ career with the Packers. He’s one of the most popular players on the team, but he’ll turn 29 next month and has only the 2024 season left on his contract. He took a pay cut to return to Green Bay this offseason, and it’s not a lock that he will be back next season given his age and salary ($12 million in 2024).
The Packers’ medical staff told Jones to stay in the locker room and watch the rest of the game on TV. But after several players, including Christian Watson and Devonte Wyatt, came up to him at halftime and told him they were going to pull out a win, Jones made his way back to the sideline with about 13 minutes left in the game.
“It’s definitely tough,” Watson said of seeing Jones go down. “Regardless of the player he is, just the leader he is, the man … I mean, we need him in that huddle. We need him on that sideline, so it’s definitely tough to see him go down. But I told him as soon as he was walking off, we’re gonna get it done for him, and I think everybody felt that way, regardless of if they said it or not. I think everybody wanted to get that one done for him and we’re always in his corner.”
First appeared on www.espn.com