GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur says running back Aaron Jones’ knee problem makes him “highly unlikely” to play Thursday at Detroit but likely won’t require him to go on injured reserve.
“Very relieved that it’s not anything long term,” LaFleur said Tuesday.
Jones, who was carted to the locker room late in the second quarter of Green Bay’s 23-20 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, is one of 17 Packers listed on the injury report heading into Thursday’s game.
One of the most noteworthy cases involves tight end Luke Musgrave. LaFleur said Musgrave’s abdominal injury required a trip to the hospital and added that “certainly it was a scary situation.”
“He’s got a pretty significant injury,” LaFleur said. “I think it just speaks to his toughness, because he didn’t say anything all game, and then something came up.”
Musgrave has since been released from the hospital. LaFleur was asked whether Musgrave might end up on injured reserve.
“We’ll see,” LaFleur replied. “We’re kind of working through everything right now.”
Green Bay’s precarious situation at running back became apparent when Jones got hurt and Emanuel Wilson injured his shoulder during the same series late in the second quarter. Their exits left AJ Dillon as the Packers’ only available running back.
The Packers (4-6) responded by signing Patrick Taylor off the Patriots’ practice squad and adding James Robinson to their practice squad. The Packers are trying to avoid a repeat of their Sept. 28 matchup with Detroit (8-2), when they were outrushed 211-27 in a 34-20 loss to the Lions.
Taylor was watching the Packers-Chargers game when he saw the injuries and wondered whether his former team might contact him.
Taylor said “literally two minutes, three minutes” after he’d made that prediction, his agent called with the news that Packers director of football operations Russ Ball had reached out to him.
“I didn’t pick up because I didn’t see it,” recalled Taylor, who had played 27 games for the Packers from 2021-23. “He called my wife. She was sitting on the couch with me, and she handed me the phone and said, ‘Hey, we’re going back to Green Bay.’“
The Packers are hopeful Taylor’s familiarity with the system will help him be able to contribute right away. Taylor played four games for the Packers this season before getting released on Oct. 10.
“You can’t teach somebody our offense in a day,” Dillon said. “For him to have been here as long as he has, a lot of the stuff is kind of already second nature. He was only gone, what, six weeks or whatever it was. He’s still got a lot of it obviously locked in. Having him here to help out on a short week is big time.”
Robinson also has some history with the Packers. He spent a few weeks on Green Bay’s practice squad earlier this season before getting released.
Taylor acknowledged feeling some hurt over the way his previous stint in Green Bay ended. Now he gets another chance to show he belongs.
“It’s a performance-based business,” Taylor said. “If you’re not playing well or you’re not helping the team, then they’ll get rid of you. It left a bad taste in my mouth, for sure, but I’m grateful that it happened. It gave me a different perspective of everything moving forward. But I am grateful for the opportunity to be back here and be back with my boys, and play with the Packer ‘G.’“
NOTES: LaFleur said the Packers’ release of Dallin Leavitt had “zero” to do with the start of Sunday’s game, when the veteran safety committed two penalties on the opening kickoff. The Packers released Leavitt to make room for Taylor. “It’s one of those tough decisions that sometimes you’re faced with,” LaFleur said. “I think just the injury situation certainly has not helped us with a lot of guys going down. I definitely appreciate the contributions he’s made over two years, and some of it doesn’t even always show up on the field in the stat sheet.” … S Darnell Savage is practicing again on a limited basis after missing the past four games while on injured reserve with a calf issue. “We’ll see where he’s at,” LaFleur said. “He’s been working out, and I know he’s itching to get back out there.”
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