For the first time since his injury against the Chicago Bears in the season opener, Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones returned to practice on Thursday. Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said that Jones looked “good” upon his return, but that the team would need to evaluate his hamstring on Friday and Saturday before making the decision of whether or not Jones will play against the New Orleans Saints this weekend.
The Packers’ offense has struggled a bit since Jones went down. Not only is Jones — despite missing Week 2 — still the team’s leading receiver, but he also averaged 4.6 yards per carry on the ground versus the Bears. The three other backs (AJ Dillon, Patrick Taylor and Emanuel Wilson) that Green Bay has used this season have combined for 37 carries for just 102 yards, a 2.75 yards per carry average.
Another key offensive weapon is on the injury report for the Packers, as receiver Christian Watson was once again a non-participant for his own hamstring injury. Watson was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. LaFleur stated that the plan was to give Watson a day of rest and give him a look tomorrow. Last week, Watson was given a questionable status, which might mean that he has a shot to play against the Saints.
Other non-participants in practice include left tackle David Bakhtiari (knee) and safety Zayne Anderson (hamstring). Anderson’s injury is new and was not listed on the Packers’ Wednesday injury report. The limited participants in practice, beyond Jones, were outside linebacker Rashan Gary (knee) and outside linebacker Lukas Van Ness (elbow).
As far as the Saints’ injury report goes, former Packer Jamaal Williams was a back-to-back non-participant for New Orleans this week with his hamstring injury. Kendre Miller, the backup running back who missed the first two games with a hamstring injury, has been a full participant this week, though.