Mike McCarthy is notorious for putting running backs in the doghouse for fumbling. Last week was a prime example when Aaron Jones fumbled and was nowhere to be found on the next very important drive. It has been worse before with everything from some backs benched for the rest of the game (James Starks and Eddie Lacy), others who were later cut from the team (Devante Mays and Ty Montgomery), and everything in between. With Jones already having limited carries, do we need to worry about him being in the doghouse?
McCarthy should absolutely put his stubborn ways aside in this situation. I understand not wanting to reward a player for fumbling by playing him the next drive. However, let’s put things into perspective. Would Rodgers be benched for turning the ball over? What about Adams for dropping a pass? Do you think Bakhtiari gets pulled for missing a block? Exactly, mistakes are going to happen. Jones is one of the most dynamic players in the league with the ball in his hands. He is averaging more yards per carry than any back in the league, and he is getting better in pass pro. The way he is playing, you could argue he is the Packers best player at the moment. Jones is not a rotational back that McCarthy is used to having on the roster. He is a thoroughbred and every bit of a three down feature back. He needs to be treated as one.
Aaron Jones is also backed by the highest paid player in the league who just so happens to be one of the best to ever play the game. If Jones is used correctly, it makes things so much easier for a currently struggling Rodgers. One of the things that can help Rodgers get out of this funk is a great running game. One of the things that can help two struggling guards in pass pro is a great running game. If McCarthy wants to keep his job and turn things around, he needs to trust Aaron Jones. Football can be a very easy game conceptually with the right pieces. With two high safeties, run the ball. If there are five to six in the box, run the ball. It just so happens that the Packers have one of the best in the league at running the ball.
Let’s not forget what I think is one of the biggest reasons why McCarthy should trust Aaron Jones, he owned his mistake. Jones admitted his mistake, he knows it changed the outcome of the game, and he said he will fix it. Also, this is his first fumble of his career it should not be blown out of context. McCarthy should not only trust Jones because of his play and his words, he needs to trust him for the sake of his team, his job, and the season. Trusting Aaron Jones can open a new dimension for the Packers. He can be the key to what is missing with the offense. So should we worry about him in the doghouse? No, but the rest of the league should be worried about McCarthy letting the dawg off the leash.