GREEN BAY – Standing in front of his locker Tuesday, Green Bay Packers rookie running back Aaron Jones offered a statement in his first public comments since news surfaced a day earlier that he was arrested in early October.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Monday that Jones was arrested Oct. 1 and faces several charges after he admitted during a traffic stop to smoking marijuana. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of speeding, driving without a valid license and operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in his system, according to Wisconsin court records.
“I owe an apology to my family, teammates, coaches, the fans and the Packers organization,” Jones said Tuesday. “I made a mistake, and I take full responsibility for it. And it won’t happen again. I can’t speak on it because it’s an ongoing legal matter.”
Jones then asked to answer football questions, deflecting a few inquiries about his arrest. He initially declined to answer what lessons he pulled from the situation, but answered when pressed.
“Just make smarter decisions,” he said.
If Jones is convicted, he could face a suspension from the NFL for violating its policy against substance abuse. The league does not take action until after a court case is resolved, so any punishment is unlikely until the 2018 season.
It’s uncertain when Jones will return to the field. He’s expected to miss three to six weeks after tearing his MCL in a Nov. 12 game at the Chicago Bears. Jones injured his left knee when it twisted underneath his weight as Bears linebacker Sam Acho tackled him.
Immediately, Jones said, he knew the injury was nothing more severe than a torn MCL. Jones said he missed only a few weeks with a torn MCL in his right knee during his college career at UTEP.
Jones said he’s confident he’ll play again this season.
“If there’s anything in your knee you want to hurt,” Jones said, “it’s the MCL because it doesn’t require surgery. Just got to take time and let it scar up and work at rehab.”