GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers were down to one running back again.
And it was the one who had been with them for only two days.
Don Jackson, the undrafted rookie who was promoted from the practice squad six hours before kickoff after Eddie Lacy was placed on injured reserve, didn’t make it through the first half of Thursday night’s win over the Chicago Bears. After two carries for 6 yards, Jackson left with a left hand injury.
And while Jackson sounded optimistic after the game, coach Mike McCarthy couldn’t make any promises that Jackson will be available for next week’s game at Atlanta.
“Too early to tell,” McCarthy said Friday. “They could not give me a projection for Atlanta yet.”
During the game, the Packers said Jackson’s return was questionable as he went to the locker room for X-rays. He returned to the sideline in the second half with a heavy wrap or cast on his left hand, and he practiced holding the ball with only his right hand on the bench area.
But he never played another snap.
“If they needed me, probably,” Jackson said when asked if he could have returned. “But ball security was the No. 1 thing at that point. No coach or myself would want me to turn over the ball. I tried to wrap it up, to club it, couldn’t really have my ball security straight, so we said we’re just going to sit it out.”
He lasted six plays in his first career NFL game, including preseason, and was vague about what the X-rays showed.
“It didn’t look bad,” said Jackson, who was scheduled for more tests on Friday. “It’s hard for them to tell; it’s swollen right now.”
It dampened a remarkable feel-good story for Jackson, who was one of the Packers’ top undrafted free agent signings in the spring but then never made it to training camp because of a broken jaw, the details of which remain fuzzy.
He said the broken jaw happened while “(messing) around” shortly before training camp opened in July but denied that it happened in a fight. He said it occurred while training and “not being careful.”
“If they recorded it, it would look like I’m pretty un-athletic,” Jackson said. “And the way I had did it, it was a small crack, but it didn’t help my situation.”
He was released with the non-football injury designation and was out of football until the Packers brought him back to the practice squad Week 1.
That Jackson was the more experienced of the Packers’ two backs who dressed for Thursday night game explains why McCarthy asked Aaron Rodgers to throw the ball 56 times and why 50 of the Packers’ 81 offensive plays were run with a receiver (either Ty Montgomery or Randall Cobb) in the backfield.
At least now McCarthy and his staff have more time to get Davis up to speed before the Oct. 30 game against the Falcons, and perhaps James Starks, who underwent knee surgery on Oct. 16, might be able to return.
“I was cramming because you never know what’s going to happen,” Davis said. “You never know what situation you’re going to be put in. I pretty much got everything I needed to know. Aaron was helping me out when I was in the huddle. I’m pretty much good. This week coming up is definitely going to be huge for me and I’m looking forward to it.”