GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Jones isn't likely to play in Thursday's Thanksgiving game at the Detroit Lions, but the Green Bay Packers running back is expected to play again this season. And possibly soon.
Jones was diagnosed with a sprained MCL, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Tuesday, and will be considered week-to-week. Jones injured his left knee in the first half of Sunday's win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur confirmed that Jones is not expected to be placed on injured reserve. That means they expect him to miss fewer than the four games he would be out if he were on IR.
"Very relieved that it's not anything long term," LaFleur said. "We'll just kind of work through that."
However, the Packers also discovered what LaFleur called "a significant injury" to rookie tight end Luke Musgrave, who was listed on the injury report with an abdomen injury. Musgrave played 46 offensive snaps on Sunday against the Chargers, had four catches for 28 yards and never complained of anything, but then he ended up in the hospital, according to LaFleur.
According to a source, Musgrave was diagnosed with a lacerated kidney. He could be seen reaching for his midsection when he got up after a 10-yard catch in the third quarter. He grabbed at his stomach and side several times but went back into the game.
"It speaks to his toughness," LaFleur said. "He didn't say anything."
While Musgrave has since been released from the hospital, according to LaFleur, when he calls an injury "significant" it typically means the player will be out for multiple games.
He called it "a significant blow for us offensively."
Musgrave, a second-round pick, leads the Packers' tight ends with 33 catches for 341 yards and a touchdown.
Because of the short week, the Packers immediately began preparations without Jones. Because they also lost running back Emanuel Wilson (shoulder) on the same first-half series when Jones was injured, they re-signed running back Patrick Taylor and added a second running back, veteran James Robinson, to the practice squad Monday. Robinson joined running back Ellis Merriweather on the practice squad.
Without Jones, AJ Dillon will become the primary back against the Lions.
Jones initially feared he had torn his ACL but said after the game that initial tests showed his ACL was intact. He underwent additional tests Monday.
Jones has returned quickly from MCL sprains in the past but always in his right knee. In 2021, he sustained the same injury to his right knee and missed just one game. In 2017, he missed two games because of the injury to his right knee. Late in 2018, that injury kept him out of the final two games of the season.
"When you have Aaron Jones out there, obviously the game plan changes a little bit," Packers quarterback Jordan Love said Tuesday. "But I think the game plan will be the game plan. Guys will be plugged in and have to go out there and execute whatever that game plan is that we have. Obviously, not having Aaron Jones, it changes a little bit."
Taylor played in four games for Green Bay earlier this season, three as a practice squad elevation and one as a regular member of the 53-man roster. However, after that last appearance Oct. 9 against the Raiders, he was released. He had been on the New England Patriots practice squad since then.
The Patriots were on their bye last week, and Taylor was watching the Green Bay game from his apartment in Foxborough when he saw Jones and Wilson go down in the first half.
The Packers called his agent, Chris Cabott, at halftime of Sunday's game.
"My agent had gave me a call, [but] I didn't pick up because I didn't see it," Taylor said Tuesday. "He called my wife. She was sitting on the couch with me, and she handed me the phone and said, 'Hey, we're going back to Green Bay.' So I kind of figured that was the case. He called me at halftime, when the Packers were at halftime. Saw the guys went down and I figured I would be back."
Merriweather, a rookie from UMass, was signed to the Green Bay practice squad Nov. 6. He replaced Robinson, the former 1,000-yard rusher with Jacksonville, who had been on the practice squad for three weeks.