After days of conflicting reports about his availability for Thursday night’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones is officially set to play for the first time in three weeks. After ESPN reported that Jones was expected to suit up barring any pre-game setbacks, the Packers have announced he will, in fact, be active for Week 9.
This comes hours after NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo indicated that Jones was unlikely to see a big role, or even play at all, despite a push by the running back to return. A surprise addition to the Packers’ injury report ahead of the team’s Week 7 rout of the Houston Texans, Jones had missed two straight games while recovering from a calf issue, although it initially appeared before Week 8 that Jones was set to play against the Minnesota Vikings.
Even with Jones active against the battered 49ers on Thursday, all indications are that he’ll share the running back workload with reserves Tyler Ervin and Dexter Williams, the latter of whom recently came up from the practice squad. Green Bay, after all, has three extra days of rest to prepare for Week 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars — time Jones could conceivably use to fully rehabilitate.
The 25-year-old Jones, who broke out in 2019 with 1,084 rushing yards and an NFL-leading 16 touchdowns on the ground, is in a contract year with the Packers. He’s been the steady leader of Matt LaFleur’s backfield when healthy, totaling 550 yards from scrimmage to go along with seven touchdowns during the first five games of the season.