The early signs are encouraging for Aaron Jones' availability in the Green Bay Packers' game against the New York Giants in Week 14.
As the game is on Monday Night Football, Thursday's practice is treated like a typical Wednesday. That's when the Packers release their first injury report for the week.
According to Wed Hodkiewicz of Packers.com, Jones was participating during the team's padded practice on Thursday. That's significant.
Jones didn't practice all last week and missed Sunday's victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. This is an encouraging step in the right direction.
Packers run game moving in the right direction
Even if Jones isn't quite ready for the trip to MetLife Stadium, he is getting closer to returning.
Jones suffered an MCL sprain in Week 11. Returning this week would be 22 days after suffering the injury. This would be a similar timeline to previous MCL sprains Jones has dealt with. He missed two games in his rookie year with a similar injury. Jones only missed one game with an MCL sprain in 2021.
Every injury is different, but it certainly seems possible the Packers could have their star running back available.
AJ Dillon has played well as the primary running back without Jones, but he won't have to do it alone for much longer. Along with Jones nearing a return, the Packers also signed free agent Kenyan Drake to the practice squad. He adds quality depth to the backfield and offers plenty to Matt LaFleur's offense, especially as a receiver.
The Packers have five massive matchups to finish the regular season, including divisional games against the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears in the final two. Victories over the Los Angeles Chargers, Detroit Lions, and Kansas City Chiefs have given the Packers a tremendous opportunity to make the playoffs.
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