The Green Bay Packers are bringing back a familiar face for their backfield after carting off two of their running backs — including star Aaron Jones — with injuries during Week 11’s win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the Packers are re-signing former 1,000-yard running back James Robinson to their practice squad. Robinson spent a few weeks on the Packers’ practice squad in October when Jones was dealing with a separate injury, but they cut him once Jones proved healthy enough to handle his normal workload.
Robinson rushed for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns as an undrafted rookie in 2020 for the Jacksonville Jaguars and showed off a little dual-threat ability with another 49 receptions for 344 yards and three more scores. Unfortunately, health has been a problem for him since he tore his Achilles toward the end of the 2021 season. He bounced between two other teams in 2023 alone before the Packers signed him.
With both Jones and rookie running back Emanuel Wilson battling injuries, though, Robinson could get an opportunity to play for the Packers in their Thanksgiving matchup with the Detroit Lions. Injuries might even persuade the Packers to elevate both of their practice-squad running backs, including Ellis Merriweather, for the game.
Aaron Jones Indicates He Avoided Major Knee Injury
Aaron Jones told reporters after the game that he initially feared the worst about his injury. Kenneth Murray and Nick Williams had brought him down after a 2-yard run toward the end of the first half, and Jones was in so much pain that Packers staffers had to help him off the field before eventually carting him off to the locker room.
Fortunately, based on initial tests, Jones believes he “caught a break” with his injury.
“If it’s my ACL, then I’m done for the season,” Jones said in Sunday’s postgame, via Bill Huber of Sports Illustrated. “I put in a lot of work, put in a lot of time to be here with these guys. For it to go out like that, I was feeling like, ‘Man, I can’t catch a break.’ But [I] caught a break. Hopefully, it’s not anything serious and I’m back here pretty soon.”
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur also said he did not believe Jones had sustained a serious knee injury; although, it remains to be seen how much time Jones could miss. The Packers did not practice on Monday, but they listed Jones as “did not participate” in their estimation for the first injury report against the Lions.
Jones Returned to Sideline to ‘Be There for the Offense’
Jones might not have been able to return to the game against the Chargers, but he did return to the sideline in the fourth quarter in hopes that his veteran leadership presence could help the offense — even in a small way — as the Packers worked to secure the win.
“I was definitely watching the game back in [the locker room] and then, probably 13 minutes left in the fourth, I went out there,” Jones said, via Huber. “They told me to stay back here, but I realize it’s only AJ [Dillon] in the game, so just to get in his ear and be there for the offense. I knew if they see me, it would kind of lift them a little bit.”
The Chargers kept things interesting in the fourth quarter. They scored a go-ahead touchdown — a 10-yard pass to Keenan Allen — with about 5:24 left to play, giving them a 20-16 lead. The Packers responded on the next drive, though, with quarterback Jordan Love completing a pair of deep passes, including a 24-yard touchdown to wide receiver Romeo Doubs that put them ahead by the final 23-20 margin.
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