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Packers' backfield at full strength with returning Aaron Jones

Green Bay’s three running backs combine for 156 total yards


GREEN BAY – Aaron Jones needed only one play to prove to himself he was back where he wanted to be after a two-week hiatus.

The Packers' second-year running back checked in with 52 seconds remaining in the first quarter of Sunday's game against Washington and immediately bounced off two would-be tacklers on the way to a 10-yard gain.

Rotating with Ty Montgomery and Jamaal Williams, Jones was part of a Green Bay backfield that produced 156 total yards (87 rushing, 69 receiving) on 24 touches to provide a silver lining in the Packers' 31-17 loss at FedExField.

"I felt like we complemented each other well," said Jones, who missed the first two games of the regular season due to a suspension. "There was no letdown when any of us were in the game and I feel like that's going to be a key part to any success we have."

Williams (seven touches for 45 yards) and Montgomery (10 touches for 62 yards) alternated series at the start of Sunday's game before Jones entered.

Jones' first two runs (10 and eight yards) helped spark Green Bay's first scoring series of the afternoon, which culminated in a Mason Crosby 41-yard field goal.

Jones said he didn't feel rusty at all despite the two-week layoff, which was reflected in his seven carries for 42 yards. Together, Green Bay produced 100 rushing yards on 17 carries for a season-high average of 5.9 yards per attempt.

A two-time NFL rookie of the week, Jones jumped on the scene last year with 448 yards and four touchdowns on 81 carries (5.6 average). He's hopeful to provide a similar impact in Year 2.

"Of course, I wanted to take one all the way to the house," Jones said. "It will come, but I did feel explosive and I feel like I helped the team."

G-mo show: Third-year receiver Geronimo Allison continued to build on his strong start to the 2018 season with a 64-yard touchdown catch with 2:15 left in the first half.

"We had the call from the huddle," said Allison, who had two catches for 76 yards against Washington. "I got lined up, went through my pre-snap and they were in the perfect defense for the perfect call."

The former undrafted free agent now leads Green Bay's receiving corps in both yards (209) and yards per catch (16.1) through the first three games of the season.

New gunner: The Packers might have something special on their hands with the booming leg strength of punter JK Scott and the speed of gunner Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

The two rookie fifth-round picks were on the same page Sunday, allowing only nine return yards on five punts. Valdes-Scantling had two coverage tackles in the game, forced a fair catch and also downed a punt at Washington's 2-yard line in the second quarter.

"Whatever I can do to help the team," Valdes-Scantling said. "I'm comfortable in any role no matter if it's offense or special teams. Whatever they need me to do, I'll go out there and do it to the best of my ability. That's just what that was tonight."

Missed opportunities: In the postgame locker room, the Packers' offense lamented several missed opportunities to pull back within striking distance of Washington in the second half.

While rain was steady throughout the game, receiver Randall Cobb took ownership for his drop on fourth-and-2 in the third quarter (a play that originally was called a catch and overturned upon review) and a fumble on second-and-6 with 5:32 left in the second quarter.

Tight end Lance Kendricks also had a chance at a big play on third-and-10 early in the fourth quarter, but couldn't pull down the pass from Rodgers to end the threat.

"It was tough to track," Kendricks said. "But when I hit the ground, I hit the ground pretty hard and the ball just kind of popped out. It's just a focus thing, I've got to keep looking it in and it's just something I've got to work on."

Line shuffle: The Packers finished the game without the right side of their starting offensive line, with right tackle Bryan Bulaga (back) and right guard Justin McCray (shoulder) leaving the game and not returning.

Jason Spriggs finished the game at right tackle, while Lucas Patrick and Byron Bell each filled in for McCray, who said he's been battling this shoulder issue since training camp.

McCray tried to play through it Sunday, but felt it give out in the second quarter.

"I was just trying to fight through it but realized I subconsciously wasn't using my hands and couldn't get the extension," McCray said. "So I figured that it might be time to come out."

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