GREEN BAY – James Jones is fine with catching only one pass in last week’s season-opening win over New Orleans. It’s the number of snaps he played in the game that the Green Bay Packers wide receiver took issue with Wednesday.
Jones played just 19 snaps against the Saints, catching the only pass thrown his direction – for one yard, with 6 minutes to go in the game. Of those 19 plays, six of his snaps in what would be considered running formations – three tight ends, one back and Jones, or two tight ends, a running back, a fullback and Jones.
“I don’t care about the ball at all, but I truly, truly want to be in the game plan. Everybody plays this game because they want to play,” Jones said. “I’m not selfish; I understand we’ve got a lot of weapons, so I’m not saying I want the ball every play. But I think I deserve to be on the field more than I was.”
Jones said he didn’t have an issue with quarterback Aaron Rodgers not throwing him the ball more on the snaps he did play.
“Aaron’s got his hands full. We’ve got a lot of weapons. It’d be stupid for me to come up to Aaron and tell him I’m open,” Jones said. “Every receiver’s going to say they’re open on every play even when they’re covered. I don’t bother Aaron. Aaron throws to the open guy. He’s been good throwing to the open guy. Aaron doesn’t tell me to sub into the game. So if I’m not in the game, he can’t throw it to me on the sideline.”
For his part, Rodgers asked media members not to make a big deal about Jones’ limited role last week.
“I just hope that you all as media personalities don't run to whoever is the low man on the catch totem pole every week because that's going to get a little bit ridiculous,” Rodgers said during his regular Wednesday media gathering at his locker. “It is Week 1, it's a long season and I'm going to throw it to the open guy. So I just hope you guys don't do that. You probably will, but that's a single plea from me."
On Friday, offensive coordinator Joe Philbin told reporters that he spoke with Jones following the team meeting that day to make sure he understood that he was still important to the offense. Jones caught a career-best 50 passes in the regular season last year and re-signed with the team for three years and $9 million in August.
“At the end of the day, we won the ballgame, that’s the main focus. Do I want to be more involved? No doubt. Who wouldn’t? But it is what it is,” Jones said. “It bothered me a little bit because I want to be involved. I’m a competitor. I want to be involved; I want to be able to help my team win. But at the end of the day, we’ve got a lot of weapons, the ball just didn’t come my way. Hopefully that changes. That’s all I can say. Practice hard and hopefully it changes.”
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