Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones was suspended for the first two games of the regular season for violating the league’s policy on substance abuse, the NFL announced Tuesday.
Jones will sit out a pair of home games against NFC Central rivals — the Week 1 opener against the Chicago Bears and the following week’s matchup versus Minnesota Vikings.
The second-year running back will be eligible to return to Green Bay’s active roster on Sept. 17. Jones is eligible to participate in all preseason practices and games.
Jones started four of 12 games during an injury-plagued rookie season in 2017. He finished with 448 yards rushing and four touchdowns, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
A fifth-round draft choice in the 2017 NFL Draft, Jones rushed for 125 yards in an Oct. 8 victory over Dallas and ran for 131 yards in the Oct. 22 loss to New Orleans. However, injuries to each knee limited his production over the second half of the season.
The Packers plan to use a running-back-by-committee approach in their running game this season, and Jones figures to be an integral part of that rotation.
Jones recently told the team’s website that he used the offseason to build up his body, hoping to prevent similar knee injuries that curbed his rookie campaign.
“I’m bigger all around,” Jones said on the team’s website. “That’s something that’s going to help me in pass protection and that’s something I want to get better at. I’m stronger, so definitely when a defender who’s bigger than me comes up I can hold my ground this year.
“I feel like any athlete wants to get bigger, stronger as long as they can stay explosive. I still feel just as explosive as I was, if not even more.”