Green Bay Packers Back Aaron Jones Expects to Miss Thanksgiving Game

Posted on: November 22, 2023, 11:38h. 

Last updated on: November 23, 2023, 11:48h.

When the Green Bay Packers visit the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving, running back Aaron Jones will most likely sit out because of a knee injury.

Green Bay Packers Aaron Jones
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones waves to the crowd after he’s carted off Lambeau Field with a knee injury. (Image: AP)

Jones sustained a left knee injury on Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. He feared an ACL tear, but an MRI revealed it was only an MCL sprain. Head coach Matt LaFleur indicated that Jones won’t spend a stint on the IR, but he’s unlikely to play on Thursday.

Very relieved that it’s not anything long term,” said LaFleur. “We’ll just kind of work through that.”

A banged-up Jones missed multiple games earlier in the season with a hamstring injury. He appeared in only seven games this season, and rushed for 245 yards on 66 carries with two touchdowns. He also added 19 catches and one touchdown reception.

The depleted Packers will most likely start A.J. Dillon at running back on Thursday. Rookie backup Emanuel Wilson has a separated shoulder, and he’s listed as questionable. The Packers recently promoted Patrick Taylor from the practice squad.

Dillon leads the Packers in rushing this season with 405 yards on 117 carries, but he’s scored only one touchdown.

Packers and Lions in Turkey Day Divisional Joust

The Lions host a Thanksgiving game, which has become a holiday tradition since its inception in 1934. This year’s Turkey Day has three games with the Lions and Packers kicking off the festivities.

The Lions are -7.5 favorites against the Packers. They have one of the best betting records in the NFL this season, with a 7-3 record against the point spread (ATS).

The Packers are 5-5 ATS. They started the season with a 3-0 ATS record, but have since gone 1-5 ATS in their last six games.

The Packers were a +3 home underdog when they hosted the Lions on Thursday Night Football in Week 4. The Lions easily won and covered, 34-20.

The Packers fell behind 27-3 at halftime, and abandoned the running game in the second half. The Packers rushed for 27 yards and Jones led the team with 18 yards on only five carries.

Offensively, as a whole, we’ve just got to start faster,” said quarterback Jordan Love. “We don’t start fast and we kind of get behind and it’s hard running the ball. We get put in situations where you’ve got to throw the ball. We’ve just got to start faster.”

Love completed 23-of-36 passes for 246 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. The Lions sacked Love five times.

Veteran running back David Montgomery rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns for the Lions in the victory. Rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs added 51 combined yards from scrimmage for the Lions. Star wideout Amon-Ra St Brown tallied five catches for 56 yards and one touchdown.

In the rematch, the Packers will do what they can to strike first and make the Lions play catch-up.

Packers Still Eyeing Wild Card

The Packers (4-6) occupy third place in the NFC North behind the first-place Lions (8-2) and the second-place Minnesota Vikings (6-5). If the season ended today, the Lions would lock up the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs, and the Vikings would qualify as a wild-card team as the #7 seed.

The Packers are on the playoff bubble, and are currently ranked eighth in the conference. The Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are also 4-6, but know they must post a near-perfect record in the remaining seven games of the season if they expect to catch other wild-card squads that have six wins. The Seattle Seahawks hold down the #6 seed with a 6-4 record.

According to a playoff projection from Upshot, the Packers have a 25% chance to qualify for the postseason, yet have less than a 1% chance to win the Super Bowl.

The Packers can vastly improve their postseason chances with an upset victory against the Lions on Thanksgiving. In December, the Packers have games against the Kansas City Chiefs, the New York Giants, the Bucs, the Carolina Panthers, and the Vikings on New Year’s Eve. The Packers end the season against their bitter rival, the Chicago Bears, in Week 18.

The Packers are a long shot to win the NFC North at +2000 odds. The Lions are a huge divisional favorite at -1100.

The Packers are +290 odds to make the playoffs, and -380 odds to miss the postseason.

The Packers are near the bottom of the NFL futures board at +20000 odds to win the Super Bowl. The Philadelphia Eagles recently emerged as the betting favorite at +450 odds to win Super Bowl LVIII.