Aaron Jones polished off the first 1,000-yard rushing season of his three-year NFL career in Sunday afternoon’s win over the Detroit Lions, but the dynamic rusher took aim at another one of the Green Bay Packers’ rivals with some hilarious attire in the postgame.
Jones, who rushed 25 times for 100 yards and caught another two passes for 43 yards in the 23-20 victory, sported a pitch-black sweatshirt while speaking with reporters after the game with white, all-caps letters printed on the front of it that read: “The lights are too bright for you, get off the field.”
It was the same sweatshirt he’d worn coming off the plane when the team arrived Saturday in Detroit, designed specifically to troll Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr with the exact words he reportedly used to taunt Jones after he fumbled the ball in the first quarter of their Week 16 matchup in Minnesota for Monday Night Football.
Jones didn’t seem to let Barr’s words impact his performance on the field as he romped his way to a season-high 154 rushing yards and two touchdowns, including a 56-yard run that helped the Packers seal their 23-10 win and the NFC North division title. Apparently, though, the breakout rusher wasn’t quick to forget the taunt and, quite literally, carried them into the final game of the season.
Jones officially finished his third season in the NFL with 1,084 rushing yards, 474 receiving yards and 19 total touchdowns that tied him for the most in the regular season with Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey. He rushed for at least 100 yards in five games and, in a career-best receiving performance, also caught seven passes for 159 yards during Week 8’s win over Kansas City.
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Aaron Jones Gave Matt LaFleur a Bit of a Scare
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur knew he was going to need a lot from Aaron Jones with two of their other rushing options not available out of the backfield on Sunday.
The Packers choose to hold back Jamaal Williams (shoulder) and Danny Vitale (knee) in the final game of the regular season after both missed the entire week of practice with their respective injuries, limiting their rushing options to Jones, rookie Dexter Williams and return specialist Tyler Ervin. That’s why when Jones went down hard diving for an overthrown pass and had six Packers trainers standing around him evaluating him for an injury, LaFleur is glad none of the cameras were focused on him.
“I was not feeling very good at that moment,” LaFleur admitted in Sunday’s postgame. “I didn’t know what was wrong with him, but I hope they didn’t catch my reaction on TV, let’s leave it at that.”
Fortunately for the Packers, Jones was fine and returned to the game to deliver a pivotal play down the stretch on a screen pass from Aaron Rodgers. Jones made move to get open when he saw his quarterback in trouble and found a seam after catching the ball to get 31 yards upfield, putting the Packers on the Lions’ 20-yard line. Another two short runs for Jones and a Rodgers kneel-down set up the game-winning field goal from Mason Crosby.
“I found an open window, and I don’t know how A-Rod got me the ball, but he did,” Jones said in Sunday’s postgame via PackersNews.com.