Packers RB Aaron Jones suspended 2 games for substance-abuse violation
GREEN BAY - Following an arrest last fall, the NFL announced Tuesday it suspended Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones without pay for the first two games of the 2018 regular season.
Jones was suspended for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He was arrested in October and faced several charges after admitting during a traffic stop to smoking marijuana. Jones pleaded not guilty to charges of speeding, driving without a valid license and operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in his system.
“I owe an apology to my family, teammates, coaches, the fans and the Packers organization,” Jones said after the arrest. “I made a mistake, and I take full responsibility for it. And it won’t happen again.”
Packers coach Mike McCarthy also called the incident "a mistake."
In February, Jones pleaded no contest to one of the three charges filed against him. Brown County Judge Marc Hammer accepted Jones' plea to a traffic citation for driving with a controlled substance in his system and found him guilty. Under a plea agreement, Hammer dismissed tickets for speeding and operating without a license.
Court records indicate Hammer suspended Jones' license for six months, assessed $1,047 in fines and court costs, and ordered Jones to undergo an alcohol assessment.
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Jones was pulled over for speeding on State 172 in Ashwaubenon at 11:37 a.m. on Oct. 1, according to an incident report. A state trooper clocked Jones’ vehicle traveling 79 mph in a 55-mph zone.
The report states the trooper smelled marijuana and noticed Jones’ eyes were red and bloodshot. Jones told the trooper he had smoked marijuana after eating breakfast. A search of the vehicle did not produce any drugs or drug paraphernalia.
Jones will miss the first two games of the season, both at home against NFC North rivals Chicago and Minnesota. He’s eligible to return to the active roster before the Packers' Week 3 trip to Washington.
In a tweet Tuesday, Jones addressed the suspension, saying "This won't Define Me."
"The NFL announced my suspension today. I accept it, take responsibility for it, and regret the mistake that I made during the 2017 season which led to the punishment," Jones said in a tweeted statement. "I've let down my family, teammates, coaches, the Packers' front office, Packers' fans, UTEP, UTEP fans, and the communities of El Paso and Green Bay. I apologize to all impacted and promise that this will never happen again and when I touch the field again it's going to be special. #GodsGotMe"
Jones, who is expected to battle Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams in training camp for the Packers' lead running back role, is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.
As a rookie, Jones was the Packers' second-leading rusher, gaining 448 yards on 81 carries (5.5 average) and scoring four touchdowns.
Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel contributed to this report.