After sitting out Week 8 with a calf injury, there’s a chance that Packers running back Aaron Jones could be on the field for Thursday’s game against the 49ers, but if he can’t play, things could get dicey for Green Bay. 

As things currently stand, even if he does play Jones will be in a limited role, according to NFL.com. The Packers usually have A.J. Dillon and Jamaal Williams in the second and third spots on the depth chart at running back, but both players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week, which makes them ineligible to play Thursday. 

If Jones can’t go, that means the Packers will be forced to play two running backs — Tyler Ervin and Dexter Williams — who are so far down the depth chart that there’s a good chance that most NFL fans had never heard of them before this week. Basically, Aaron Rodgers will be directing a backfield that will feature two players in Ervin and Williams who have combined for exactly four carries this year.

That might not be an ideal situation for some quarterbacks, but Rodgers is apparently viewing it as a “fun challenge.”

“I think as a competitor you’re always excited about the challenges,” Rodgers said this week, via the team’s official website. “You’d love having your guys in there at full strength, for sure, but there is that fun challenge of going in there without some of those guys and trying to find a way to win.”

This isn’t the first time this season that the Packers have been missing some offensive firepower. Allen Lazard won’t be playing on Thursday, marking the third time he’s missed a game this year. Rodgers also had to deal with star receiver Davante Adams missing two games earlier this season, and the Packers went 2-0 in those games. 

“I don’t feel like we’re ever hamstringed necessarily based on some of the things that we’ve done,” Rodgers said. “We’ve had to mix some personnel up and move some guys around to try and get our best guys on the field and give us some advantages through the use of personnel. That’s not going to change.”

Apparently, Packers coach Matt LaFleur gets extra creative when he has limited man power to work with on offense. 

“I think that’s the beauty in what (coach) Matt (LaFleur) and the offensive staff has done this year is finding creative ways to get our best guys on the field and put them in positions to get the ball in space,” Rodgers said. “No different this week.”

As for the two new guys who will likely see the brunt of the workload against the 49ers, Rodgers seems to be a fan of both of them. 

“I love [Williams],” Rodgers said. “Dex has a really good attitude. He’s done a nice job of growing up in the offense and feeling more comfortable with the checks and his responsibilities in pass blocking and route-running. It seems like he’s a little more settled this year and feeling more confident.”

As for Ervin, Rodgers likes the fact that he can basically play any offensive skill position. 

“He can do a lot,” Rodgers said. “He can play receiver. He can be our fly-option guy. He can play in the backfield. With those two guys in the protocol, we’re going to have to have him play an even bigger role this week to make sure we’re getting our best guys on the field.”

There’s a good chance both players will likely see some serious action on Thursday and that’s because even if Jones does play, he’s not expected to be on the field for every play. According to NFL.com, the Packers star running back will be in a “limited role” if he does end up playing

The Packers and 49ers will be kicking off at 8:20 p.m. ET on Thursday from Levi’s Stadium and you can read our full preview for the game by clicking here. 

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