How will Packers split time between Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon?

The Packers have two more-than-capable running backs in shifty playmaker Aaron Jones and second-year bruiser AJ Dillon.

The question, it seems, is how will Head Coach Matt LaFleur and Offensive Coordinator Nathanial Hackett use the two players? LaFleur has mentioned before that both players are starting running back-caliber guys in the National Football League.

That’s a good problem to have.

But how will these two players split time and repetitions during games?

I saw this question posed on Twitter, and it really got me thinking.

Obviously, Aaron Jones is the big-name player who has proven time and time again just how dynamic he can be. He’s surpassed 1,000 yards on the ground in each of the past two seasons. To go with that, he was just signed to a nice deal to keep him in Green Bay for a few more years.

But I remember watching many games last season where I was surprised that he wasn’t used more. LaFleur didn’t mind splitting Jones’ reps with Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon, at times.

With Williams gone, and Dillon prepared to make the second-year jump, the bruiser from Boston College will surely see more time this season. After the Tennessee game last season, I think Packers fans are ready for it.

So what will it be? 70-30 split? 50-50?

I don’t think the answer is as clear cut as that.

Just like last season, LaFleur and Hackett will use Dillon more in some situations and Jones more in others. It all depends on the game plan and what the coaching staff feels is right to attack the opposing defense.

And then there will surely be a third guy that gets some plays here or there. Whether that’s Kylin Hill, Dexter Williams or Patrick Taylor remains to be seen.

But the best part about the situation is I don’t think either of the two players care about the exact split of time and reps. Both guys enjoy each other and just want to see the offense be successful.

“I think we can be the best running back tandem in the NFL,” Dillon said in June.

“You look at us and you see thunder and lightning, which absolutely we are,” Dillon continued. “But you know, the lightning guy, Aaron, he can also grind out some yards. And the thunder guy, myself, I’d like to say I can still beat some guys running away from them.”

Thunder and lightning would be great to see all season long, regardless of who gets the majority of the snaps.


Gunnar Davis is a lifelong Packers fan and a recent graduate of Simpson College, where he was a 3-year letterwinner on the offensive line and graduated with a degree in multimedia communications. You can follow him on Twitter at @Gunnar57Davis.



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