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The Green Bay Packers will start the 2018 National Football League season with a handicap, as the team’s running back Aaron Jones can’t play.

The NFL suspended the 23-year-old Jones for two games after he violated the league’s Policy and Program for Substance Abuse. Jones was arrested in October of last year for a marijuana-related offense. Early this year, he pleaded no contest to those charges. Aside from that, Jones was also charged with speeding and driving without a valid license.

Jones, who only appeared in 12 games last season due to an MCL injury, will be missing the Packers’ game against the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings who are among of the team’s biggest rivals. The 2017 fifth-round pick is set to return on the active roster on Sept. 17.

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said that he spoke to Jones after the incident, adding that he was completely aware that his player committed a mistake. Despite the suspension, Jones can still join the training camp and the preseason games of the Packers.

“It’s been a while since. I don’t recall the date. He made a mistake and I know it’s a pending legal situation,” McCarthy said.

Jones added that he is taking responsibility for his actions while promising everyone a special return to the field. Jones is expected to make his season debut against the Washington Redskins on Sept. 23.

Huge Loss For The Packers

With Jones sidelined for two matches, the Packers will now have to bank on the heroics of Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery at the start of the season. The 5-foot-9 Jones turned heads in his rookie season, accumulating a total of 448 yards to go along with four touchdowns on 81 carries.

Jones played superbly against the Dallas Cowboys and the New Orleans Saints wherein he tallied more than 100 rushing yards. Overall, Jones had a decent average of 5.5 yards per attempt last year which is ranked fifth in the league among players with at least 50 attempts.

The Packers are hoping to recover from a terrible season wherein they only managed to win seven of their 16 games. It also marked the first losing record for the Packers since 2008 in which they finished with six wins and 10 losses. Prior to last season, the Packers have been one of the most feared squads in the league finishing both the 2016 and 2017 seasons with 10-6 win-loss cards and 2015 with an impressive 12-4 slate.

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