The Packers didn’t have running back Ty Montgomery in Dallas on Sunday because he sat out with broken ribs, but they didn’t miss him all that much.
Fifth-round pick Aaron Jones got his first NFL start and ran 19 times for 125 yards and a touchdown in the 35-31 win over the Cowboys. Jones consistently found his way to the second level on his runs, either by planting his foot and exploding upfield or by cutting back to open space. He only made one catch, but the Cowboys defense grew wary enough of getting beaten by Jones that two men went with him on Aaron Rodgers‘ crucial third-down scramble before the game-winning touchdown.
On Monday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy was asked if he envisions a 1-2 punch with Jones and Montgomery once Montgomery is healthy enough to play again.
“I hope I have a 1-4 punch,” McCarthy said, via the team’s website. “That’s why we drafted three running backs. It takes time. It’s a young man’s league, I get it, and Aaron had an opportunity he cashed in. I’m proud of him. He’s earned more opportunities moving forward. But this is not a one-man show. It’s going to take them all. I want to make hard decisions who’s on the 46[-man gameday roster].”
McCarthy referred to Jones’ fellow rookies Jamaal Williams and Devante Mays, but he only gave Williams two snaps on Sunday while Mays was limited to special teams. That playing time could change, obviously, but Montgomery and/or Jones may need to falter before it happens.