Packers Aaron Jones Arrested, May Face Suspension
Michael Cohen of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today reports Packers rookie running back Aaron Jones was arrested in early October for driving without a valid license, operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in his system, and speeding.
The Brown County district attorney’s office filed the charges on October 2, the Monday following the Packers’ 35-14 Thursday night win over the Chicago Bears.
Cohen details the events that led up the arrest:
Jones was pulled over for speeding on Highway 172 in Ashwaubenon at 11:37 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 1, according to an incident report obtained by the Journal Sentinel. State trooper Dillon Larson clocked Jones’ vehicle traveling 79 miles per hour in a 55 mile-per-hour zone.
The report states Larson smelled marijuana emanating from the vehicle and observed Jones’ eyes to be red and bloodshot. Jones told Larson he had woken up three hours earlier and smoked marijuana after eating breakfast. A search of the vehicle did not produce any narcotics or paraphernalia.
A second trooper arrived on the scene, and Jones was asked to participate in a standardized field sobriety test along the side of the highway. The report states Jones was assessed one “clue” for using his arms to balance during a walking test but had no issue standing on one leg or tracking an object with his eyes.
Jones was taken to St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay for a blood test. He was released from custody at 1:33 p.m. after Donatello Brown, a cornerback for the Packers, signed the responsibility agreement to care for an individual who has been operating a vehicle under the influence.
The rookie running back missed yesterday’s 23-0 loss against the Baltimore Ravens because of a sprained MCL suffered in the team’s 23-16 win over the Chicago Bears the previous week.
How long might Aaron Jones be suspended?
The NFL does not issue suspensions for substance-abuse charges until after the court case is resolved, and Jones’ court date is set for February 1, 2018.
It’s likely Jones suspension, if he faces one, will take place in the beginning of the 2018 NFL season.
For those looking to project a possible suspension length for Jones, let’s examine the case of Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison. Allison was arrested in September 2016 after an officer found marijuana in his car during a traffic stop, a similar situation to Jones’ arrest.
Allison’s plea agreement included a $330.50 fine and community service, and by July the NFL suspended Allison for the first game of the season.
Additionally, former cornerback Sam Shields was also charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia based on an incident in October 2016. Shields, now a free agent, faces a two game suspension from the NFL should any team sign him.
Jones' future with the Packers unlikely to change
While the report of Jones' arrest came out today, it's been more than six weeks since the arrest occurred. When Cohen discussed Jones' status with head coach Mike McCarthy, it was clear McCarthy had no appetite for releasing the rookie:
Because of Jones' breakout success early in the season and his bargain contract as a fifth-round draft pick, expect at the very least the Packers bring Jones back into training camp next season.
Had the Packers been displeased with Jones following the arrest, they likely would not have given him his first career start the following week against the Dallas Cowboys. Additionally, they likely would have placed the running back on season-ending injured reserve following his knee sprain against the Bears last week.