Tuesday AM update: Ian Rapoport reports that RB Aaron Jones appears to be likely to miss Week 9 with a calf injury, as the Packers medical staff exercises caution for their lead RB on a short week.
Adding to the difficulty for the #Packers: There is pessimism that RB Aaron Jones (calf) will be back for Thursday, I’m told. GB is cautious. The current plan seems to be going with Tyler Ervin and Dexter Williams vs the #49ers. Ervin has 10 career carries and Williams has 5.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 3, 2020
The Packers run game may look a bit different heading into Week 9 Thursday Night Football. Lead back Aaron Jones remains questionable with a calf injury that has held him out of the active lineup since Week 6. Jones was listed as a limited practice participant on Monday’s estimated injury report ahead of TNF.
The bad news for this running backs room doesn’t end there, however. Following the Packers divisional matchup against the Vikings on Sunday, rookie RB A.J. Dillon tested positive for COVID-19, requiring isolation of two high-risk contacts... one of which is RB Jamaal Williams. This means that the Packers will potentially be without three players who have accounted for 59% of team touches and 40% of the team’s yards from scrimmage.
This leaves RBs Tyler Ervin and Dexter Williams to manage the load. If fantasy managers are looking in need of a “break glass in case of emergency” option in Week 9, Ervin could be the guy. The 2016 fourth-round draft pick was drafted by the Houston Texans and found a new home with the Green Bay Packers in late 2019.
The bulk of Ervin’s snaps with the Packers have been on special teams and as a returner, but he’s had a couple of explosive moments in the limited offensive snaps he’s seen so far in the 2020 season. He’s had four rushing attempts for 43 yards (his longest a 21-yard run) and tallies nine targets on the season. His usage in college as a receiver could lend itself to fantasy value for managers in PPR scoring formats.
Ervin is unrostered in 99% of ESPN Fantasy Football leagues, 99% of Yahoo! leagues and 90% of Sleeper leagues — widely available for redraft and dynasty fantasy football leagues alike.