GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones seemed a bit taken aback Thursday by all the attention he's getting this week that has nothing to do with his performance on the football field.
"I was just doing what anybody else would do," said Jones, a fifth-round draft pick from UTEP in 2017.
Jones was referring to the Twitter photo posted Monday of him helping a woman in a wheelchair at Appleton International Airport. Jones, who did not know the woman, saw there was no one available to push her wheelchair after they get off their flight from Chicago and helped deliver her to family members waiting beyond the gate.
The Twitter photo was taken by user @MonicaAllen11, who wrote, "Just watched Packers Aaron Jones push a random lady through the Appleton airport because there was no [one] there to push her."
Surrounded by media members in the locker room after the Packers' OTA session Thursday, Jones described the sequence of events leading up to the photo.
"A lady was sitting next to me, across the row when we were getting off the plane (and) I saw she needed help with her bags," Jones said. "She had a cane, she was dragging her bags, and I was like, ‘Do you need help?’ And she said yes, so I started carrying her bags and when we were walking off the plane, the flight attendant told her that there would be somebody there to push her with a wheelchair. There were wheelchairs when we walked, but nobody was there, and the wheelchairs were folded up. So I asked if she wanted me to push her and she said yes. I pushed her down to where her daughter was."
Jones said the woman -- identified by Packers.com as Nancee Lingg, 82, a grandmother of nine and great-grandmother of nine from Harlingen, Texas -- at first didn't realize he was a Packers player but soon figured it out.
''As we got halfway down there, I had a bag tag on and she asked ‘Are you a Packers player?' and I said ‘Yes, ma’am I am.’ And she was like, my husband would’ve loved this," said Jones, who rushed for 448 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. "You could tell she got excited, and it made me happy. But I didn’t know anybody had taken a picture until I got home and got on Twitter."
The tweet quickly went viral and praise for Jones poured in.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy joined in the chorus during his Thursday morning media session.
"Well, I’ll tell you, it brings a big smile to my face when it comes across my phone," McCarthy said. "I’ll just say about Aaron Jones and our players: I’m thankful that everybody else is getting to see what I get to see pretty much every day. I mean, this is a tremendous locker room. We’ve been very fortunate and blessed with the caliber of character that we have in our locker room."