Jones expanding his game ahead of contract year with Packers

NFL

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones has played with a chip on his shoulder his entire life. Jones was under-recruited coming out of Burges High School in El Paso, he had to wait until the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft to hear his name called out of UTEP, and not much was expected out of him at Packers training camp this time three years ago. The proud El Pasoan continues to prove the doubters wrong.

Jones will once again be playing with something to prove in 2020 despite leading the NFL is rushing touchdowns (16) and total touchdowns (23) including playoffs. However, the Packers came one win shy of the Super Bowl and then selected a running back (A.J. Dillon) with their second round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

“I’m a focused guy,” said Jones. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to get the victory for our team and at the end of the day we all have one common goal. Keeping that goal, the goal, and getting a Super Bowl.”

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur leaned heavily on Jones in the running game, but he also relied on him in the passing game. Jones totaled over 1,000 yards rushing for the first time in his career, but he also hauled in 49 receptions for 474 and three touchdowns in the regular season.

“Aaron Jones had a big year last year, not only in the run game, but he made some key receptions for us as well,” said LaFleur. “He proved to be a very explosive player for us.”

Jones’ goal this season is to be even more versatile. The more he can do, the harder it is for the coaching staff to take him off the field.

“I think I’ve come pretty far and I think there’s still strides and leaps to go. I’m happy with my development, so far,” said Jones. “I know the more you can do as a running back, the better. You are versatile, you’re a weapon, and a lot of the time you’ll get a mismatch with linebackers on you. I feel like any time there’s a linebacker on a running back, the running back should have the advantage.”

This season will prove to be one of the more interesting seasons in NFL history with COVID-19 testing protocols and procedures in place. The Packers have already announced they will not host fans at their first two home games at Lambeau Field, but for Jones, he will be missing more than just the ‘Lambeau Leap.’

“I don’t think I’ve ever played a game without them [Jones’ parents] in the stands,” said Jones. “That’s something that is special and you can’t take for granted with all this going on. They’ll probably be here driving me up to the game, so I’ll be able to talk to them right before the game and things like that. I’ve played basketball games without them there, but I’ll be ready and I’m excited just to be back out there on the field.”

Jones and the Packers are scheduled to open the season in Minnesota against the Vikings on Sunday, September 13.

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