Packers put Aaron Jones on IR, sign WR Allen Lazard off Jaguars' practice squad

Tom Silverstein
Packers News
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Chicago Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks (96) tackles Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones (33) in the first quarter at Soldier Field on Sunday, December 16, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.

GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers won’t be taking any chances with talented, young running back Aaron Jones.

After suffering a sprained MCL in his right knee Sunday against Chicago, Jones was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, officially ending his season. Jones also missed the final game last season with a knee injury.

The Packers also will place defensive lineman Kenny Clark (elbow) on injured reserve, according to NFL Network reports.

The Packers claimed running back Kapri Bibbs off waivers from Washington on Monday and he will serve as the backup to Jamaal Williams, who inherits the starting job from Jones. Bibbs took over the spot on the 53-man roster that opened when tackle Matt Light was suspended for one game for violating the league’s substance abuse program.

To fill Jones’ spot on the roster, the Packers signed wide receiver Allen Lazard off the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad. The 6-5, 227-pound undrafted rookie from Iowa State did not spend any time on Jacksonville’s 53-man roster.

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The Packers now have four rookie receivers on their roster and all of them are 6-3 or taller. Lazard joins 6-4 Marquez Valdes-Scantling, 6-5 Equanimeous St. Brown and 6-3 J’Mon Moore.

At the scouting combine, Lazard, who holds Iowa State’s all-time marks in receptions and receiving yards, ran a 4.55-second 40-yard dash and had a 38-inch vertical. He benched 225 pounds 17 times.

Jones’ season ends well short of 1,000 yards, but heading into the final three games it appeared the rookie might have a shot at reaching the milestone. He finished the season with 133 carries for 728 yards and eight touchdowns.

His rushing total ranked 22nd and his 5.5-yard per carry average ranked first in the NFL among qualified running backs.

In two seasons, Jones has rushed 219 times for 1,176 yards (5.5 average) and 12 touchdowns. He has 35 catches for 228 yards and a touchdown.

By season’s end, Jones will have missed four games, two due to the knee injury and two due to a suspension for violating the personal conduct policy. The MCL sprain is the third he has suffered in two seasons and ultimately will have caused him to miss six games and parts of three others.

Former coach Mike McCarthy was widely criticized for not using Jones more this season, preferring to stick with a three-man rotation with Williams and Ty Montgomery. McCarthy wanted to limit Jones’ carries early on in hopes of keeping him healthy for the entire season.

Jones had only one 100-yard rushing game — 145 yards vs. Miami — but he also never had more than 17 carries in a single game. He had a run of at least 10 yards in all but one of his games and ranks tied for 16th in the NFL in that category with 22.             

Williams has 86 carries for 310 yards and a touchdown and 14 catches for 95 yards.

The Packers also made some moves with their practice squad.

Defensive end Eric Cotton and cornerback D.J. Killings were signed and tight end Ethan Wolf was put on the injured list.

The 6-4, 272-pound Cotton played at Stanford but was not on an NFL roster this year. The 6-foot, 185-pound Killings spent most of last year on Philadelphia’s practice squad and spent a week on Indianapolis’ roster before being placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury. He was released Dec. 10.

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