Packers RB Aaron Jones injures calf, listed as questionable

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Packers might get an early glimpse at what life would be like without Aaron Jones.

The running back, who is in the final year of his contract and headed for a big payday either in Green Bay or somewhere else, was a late addition to the injury report on Friday and is questionable for Sunday's game at the Houston Texans because of a calf injury.

Jones said he felt his calf tighten in practice on Thursday. He did not get any on-field work Friday.

On Saturday, the Packers announced that left tackle David Bakhtiari (chest) did not travel to Houston. He will miss his first game since 2017 and just the seventh of his eight-year career.

Jones was among four players listed as questionable on a lengthy injury report that also included two other starters as doubtful -- cornerback Kevin King (quad) and safety Darnell Savage (quad). Two others, kick returner/running back Tyler Ervin (wrist) and defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster (shoulder), were ruled out.

"Just kind of felt my calf get tight during practice [on Thursday], really didn't pay it much attention and then after and throughout the later parts of the day is when I started to feel it," Jones said Friday. "And then came in this morning and we took a look at it. I feel like I'm confident I can play, but I know our trainers and doctors have the players' best interests in mind. I'm gonna do everything in my power to make sure I can get out on the field, but it's up to the team doctors."

Given how cautious the Packers are with soft-tissue injuries, it could be a bad sign for Jones' availability Sunday. Earlier this season, the Packers held out receiver Davante Adams an extra week because of a hamstring injury even after Adams proclaimed himself ready to return.

Jones, who tied for the NFL lead with 19 touchdowns last season, is again tied for the league lead with seven touchdowns. He has scored at least once in every Packers game so far this year and would need to play Sunday to have a shot at becoming the first player in Packers history to score a touchdown in each of the team's first six games of a season.

What's more, the Texans have the NFL's worst run defense, allowing 177.5 yards rushing per game.

Without Jones, the Packers would rely heavily on Jamaal Williams but also increase snaps for rookie AJ Dillon, the second-round pick from Boston College.

"I think a guy of Aaron's caliber, you never want to take him off the field if he's able to go," Packers coach Matt LaFleur said. "Certainly, you don't want to put him at risk for further injury, either, so it's a balancing act. Obviously, we've got a lot of confidence in not only AJ, but Jamaal to be able to get the job done. Certainly, if a guy isn't able to go, all that is is an opportunity for somebody else to step in and carry the workload. Just because we're missing whoever it may be, the standards and the expectations, they never change. Guys have got to be ready to go and fill that role."

LaFleur has not said how the Packers will replace Bakhtiari, their All-Pro left tackle. Rick Wagner finished last week's loss at Tampa Bay after Bakhtiari left in the third quarter, but it's possible the Packers would reshuffle their line. Already this season, left guard Elgton Jenkins has played right tackle. He's viewed as one of their best and most flexible linemen, so he's a possibility at left tackle. So is right tackle Billy Turner, who could switch sides.

The others listed as questionable for Sunday are: center Corey Linsley (back), tight end Robert Tonyan (ankle), outside linebacker Preston Smith (shoulder) and defensive tackle Montravius Adams (foot). Of those four, all but Adams practiced in some capacity on Friday, with Linsley as the only full participant.