Taking the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands is usually a win for the Bears.
Packers running back Aaron Jones might disprove that theory Sunday.
Even with Pro Bowl defensive lineman Akiem Hicks likely to return from injured reserve, the Bears’ rush defense will be tested at Lambeau Field. Jones had only 13 carries for 39 yards in Week 1, but the loss of inside linebacker Roquan Smith looms large.
Jones’ 779 rushing yards already are the most by a Packer since 2014, when Eddie Lacy had 1,139. His 45 catches rank second on the team, his three receiving touchdowns are tied for second and his 425 receiving yards rank third.
“I think he’s one hell of a running back,” Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano said. “He’s good when they hand the ball off to him, he’s good in space when they throw it to him and he’s a good protector. They have him split out a lot in empty formations.
“He becomes a matchup issue for you defensively, so you have to have guys that can cover on him. He runs routes like a receiver out there and catches balls like a receiver. He’s having a great year.”
Only four Packers have run for more touchdowns in a season than Jones’ 12 — and three of them played before 1964.
“I think that Aaron Jones brings a dimension that you’re starting to see a real big trust factor between, really, the coaching staff, Aaron Rodgers,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “They’re moving him around and doing a lot of different things.”