According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the results of Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones’ MRI show that he has a “mild” MCL sprain that should only keep him out for one to two weeks. The report has since been confirmed by The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
On the relative scale of injury news, this is a very positive sign for an injury that led to Jones leaving the blue tent with tears in his eyes. Jones should avoid a stint on the injured reserve list, which is both good for Jones and his return but could create a tricky situation where the Packers could need to come up with another roster spot for a third healthy back on game day for the next two weeks. At the very least, assume that Ryquell Armstead, the Packers’ practice-squadder who was signed in Week 8, will be a protected player when practice squad protections are released on Tuesday. It would make sense for the Packers, who only had one healthy scratch against Seattle, to play Armstead off of the practice squad, if possible.
In Jones’ place, former second-round pick A.J. Dillon should make his first start in his NFL career against the Minnesota Vikings this week. Dillon recorded a pair of rushing touchdowns against the Seahawks last week following Jones’ injury, Dillon’s first rushing touchdowns since his pair of rushing touchdowns in his breakout game against the Tennessee Titans last season.
With 97 carries for 421 yards in 2021, only one other player has registered more carries without a start this season (Denver’s Javonte Williams) and only two players have registered more rushing yards without a start (Williams and Dallas’ Tony Pollard.) It’s safe to say that for an “inexperienced starter,” Dillon is as experienced as they come.