Packers Lose 2 Running Backs to Serious Injuries vs. Chargers

Getty Running back Emanuel Wilson of the Green Bay Packers.

The Green Bay Packers have dealt with health issues in the offensive backfield all season, and Week 11 against the Los Angeles Chargers proved to be no different.

Running backs Aaron Jones and Emanuel Wilson both suffered injuries against the Chargers on Sunday, November 19, and were unable to return to action in the second half.

“#Packers injury update: RB Aaron Jones (knee) & RB Emanuel Wilson (shoulder) have both been ruled out,” the team’s official account posted to X shortly after the third quarter began.

Jones finished the day with 4 carries for 14 yards and 1 catch for 3 yards, per ESPN. Wilson logged 3 carries for 12 yards and caught 1 pass for a 9-yard gain.

Aaron Jones, Emanuel Wilson Could Miss Significant Time with New Injuries

Aaron Jones, Packers

GettyRunning back Aaron Jones of the Green Bay Packers.

The injuries to both Jones and Wilson appeared serious in nature based on the real-time analysis of Dr. Jessica Flynn, who is a contributor to the Boston Sports Journal and 33rd Team.

“#Packers RB Aaron Jones’ left cleat stuck in turf as he was being brought down,” Flynn posted to X. “Significant left valgus knee injury. Isolated MCL injury would be best-case scenario, but other ligaments/joint case be injured. Hoping for the best news possible for him.”

Wilson went down a little more than 20 minutes later with what Flynn characterized as a dislocated shoulder.

“Packers RB Emanuel Wilson appeared to dislocate his left shoulder as [Chargers pushed him] out of bounds,” Flynn wrote. “Medical team attempted reduction on the sideline and [carted Wilson] to the locker room. Unfortunately don’t anticipate that he will be able to return today. Aaron Jones also likely sidelined for the rest of the day with a left knee injury.”

A.J. Dillon Must Shoulder Load for Packers at Running Back Despite Down Year

A.J. Dillon, Packers running back

GettyGreen Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon.

Jones has already missed three games due to a lingering hamstring strain he suffered early in the season. He has logged double-digit carries in just two contests all year and may not do so again for an extended period of time if his knee injury is as serious as Flynn predicts it might be.

If that proves to be the case, it will leave A.J. Dillon to carry the load for Green Bay for the remainder of the season. Dillon has appeared in every Packers game this year and had amassed 376 rushing yards on 103 carries as well as 114 receiving yards on 12 catches coming into Sunday’s game against the Chargers.

However, Dillon has put up a career-low of 3.7 yards per carry and has just one total touchdown all season, per Pro Football Reference. That level of production is bad news for both Green Bay, a team that has struggled to effectively run the football all year long, and Dillon who is playing for a new contract.

The Packers selected Dillon with the No. 62 overall pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He is now in the final season of his four-year, $5.3 million rookie contract.

Jones is a viable candidate to wind up a cap casualty in Green Bay during the offseason considering his $17.7 million salary cap hit in 2024. Those circumstances set up for Dillon to earn a sizable new deal with his play in 2023 and establish himself as the Packers’ running back of the future, though he has yet to live up to those expectations.

Dillon may, however, have the remainder of the season to make his case, as Jones and Wilson could end up sidelined for weeks to come.

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