Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur doesn’t want to over-exert his recovering running back until he’s fully healthy, but Aaron Jones — who will play his second consecutive game for the first time this season on Sunday vs. the Minnesota Vikings — is getting closer and closer to 100 percent.
“He’s been doing a little bit more, but we’re going to be smart with him. I don’t think he’s 100 percent by any stretch,” LaFleur said Friday.
Jones injured his hamstring after 28 snaps in Week 1, missed two games, returned to play 20 snaps in Week 4, missed Week 5 after a setback but then played 23 snaps Sunday in Denver coming out of the bye.
The Packers removed Jones from the injury report for Week 8.
While LaFleur doesn’t think he is 100 percent, Jones believes he’s close.
“This is the best I’ve felt (since the injury in Chicago). If I don’t get to 100 (percent) Sunday, I’ll probably be there next Sunday,” Jones said. “It’s like someone applied some smiles on my face because I feel like I’m getting there, getting over that.”
Last week, Jones gained 57 total yards on 11 touches in a 19-17 loss to the Broncos, the team’s third-consecutive loss and fourth in the last five games. The struggling Packers offense needs more touches out of Jones, their top playmaker who has been on the field for just 71 total snaps this season.
They also need a faster start after scoring just six first-half points over the last four games.
Jones said the Packers need to play with the same attacking mindset as they’ve used to open second halves.
“Just know we have to come out fast, the same way we’ve been playing in the second halves, with our backs against the wall. We just have to come out with that mindset and attack. Person lined up across from you, attack them. Come out with urgency when you break the huddle, tempo to the ball, and put stress on them.”