5. Running Back Conundrum
The Packers currently feature three running backs that could start for them in Week 1. Ty Montgomery was playing an astounding percentage of the snaps, which may or may not have contributed to his injury. He represented a great dual-threat player with his receiving abilities out of the backfield from being a converted receiver.
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After Montgomery went down, Jamaal Williams was also injured and thrust Aaron Jones onto the field. He showed out against the Dallas Cowboys averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Were it not for his own injury, he would have locked up the job. When he did get hurt, Williams stepped up and flashed his own dual-threat ability with several long receptions down the stretch of the season. Each player had their own strengths and weaknesses, which now leaves head coach Mike McCarthy with a good dilemma.
Jones is the most new-school running back with the ability to run with both power and finesse while possessing good hands out of the backfield. His biggest question marks are in pass blocking and health. Heading into the summer, it’s presumed that Jones will be the favorite to win the position due to his effectiveness last season. However, both Williams and Montgomery can snag the spot if Jones falters in any way.
McCarthy has often used the “hot hand” theory, which is something he should ditch for this season. He should take a page out of the Bill Belichick playbook by playing each player in their best matchups. The Patriots featured four running backs last season that could do damage at any given time.
Jones, Williams and Montgomery will all get playing time this season, but the coaching staff will need to establish the clear number one back so the team can build chemistry.