Six weeks into his sixth NFL season, James Jones is off to the best start of his professional career in relief of Greg Jennings, who is sidelined with a persistent groin injury.
As we discussed in our Friday mainbar, Jones has developed into one of Aaron Rodgers' top red-zone targets this season, accounting for seven of the 11 red-zone touchdowns the MVP quarterback has thrown this season.
Although Jones doesn't like talking about his own accolades, his teammates have been appreciative of the 6-foot-1 wide receiver's performance so far this season.
“I’m just going to say that I hope we can hold onto him for a while,” Rodgers said. “I’ve said that in the past and we’re fortunate to have a lot of guys who play at a high level in that position group, and he’s playing really well, making the most of his opportunities, making me look good in the process. So you’ve got to appreciate James, the way he’s playing right now.”
You can read the rest of our feature on Jones' start here: http://www.packersnews.com/article/20121018/PKR01/121018084/Red-hot-WR-Jones-becoming-invaluable-red-zone?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE&nclick_check=1
*In our Packers notebook, Pete Dougherty takes a look at how the special teams has been impacted by the team's recent rash of injuries.
With D.J. Smith (knee) out for the season at inside linebacker and cornerback Sam Shields (shin/ankle) probably out for this week if not longer, special teams core players such as Brad Jones and Casey Hayward will be playing regularly on defense, perhaps even full time.
That means they’ll have to cut back on their special-teams responsibilities, which in turn means that deeper backups who haven’t played much if at all this season will take over significant special-teams roles.
“I think we’ve got some young guys that have not been playing that, when they get their opportunity, will show up now,” Packers special teams coach Shawn Slocum said. “Fully expect them to be very good special teams players.”
Dougherty's notebook also touches on Aaron Rodgers returning to practice in a full capacity, Jermichael Finley stepping up against Houston and other small notes.
You can read the full notebook here: http://www.packersnews.com/article/20121018/PKR01/121018078/Notebook-Injuries-shuffle-back-ups-key-special-teams-roles?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Cimg%7CFRONTPAGE&nclick_check=1