A.J. Dillon

Green Bay Packers
Running Back #28
Green Bay Packers
Running Back #28
Photo: Icon Sportswire

A.J. Dillon News

Expected to split work in 2022

Dillon (ribs) and Aaron Jones could split the work "50-50" in the Packers' backfield in 2022, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic suggests.

Analysis: Jones played 52 percent of the snaps to Dillon's 43 percent in 2021, but with Dillon ascending, Schneidman believes those numbers will be even closer in the season ahead. Dillon's 2021 campaign was cut a couple quarters short by a broken rib, but no issues have been reported since, so he should be ready to go when the Packers begin offseason team activities later this month.

May 6, 2022 9:30 AM EST

Suffers fractured rib Saturday

Dillon sustained a broken rib during Saturday's divisional-round loss to the 49ers, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Prior to his departure near the end of the first half, Dillon had seven carries for 25 yards and one touchdown. According to Rapoport, the injury is severe enough that it would have been difficult for Dillon to be ready for the NFC Championship Game, if the Packers had advanced. They did not, though, so Dillon will aim for a full recovery by the offseason program.

Jan 23, 2022 2:58 PM EST

Scores TD in playoff loss

Dillon (chest) rushed seven times for 25 yards and a touchdown during the Packers' 13-10 loss to the 49ers in their NFC divisional-round matchup Saturday night. He exited the game for good due to his injury late in the first half.

Analysis: Dillon's final carry of the night came with 56 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The bruising back did provide those rolling with him in postseason fantasy contests one highlight, that being his six-yard touchdown run with 9:25 remaining in the first quarter that opened the scoring on the night. Despite the disappointing outcome from a team perspective Saturday night, Dillon's second season was certainly a success that was highlighted by 803 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns over 17 games.

Jan 22, 2022 8:56 PM EST

Dealing with chest injury

Dillon is questionable to return to Saturday's playoff game against San Francisco due to a chest injury.

Analysis: The exact nature and severity of the injury are not yet clear. Dillon's absence may mean Aaron Jones faces less competition for carries for the remainder of the game.

Jan 22, 2022 7:16 PM EST

Quiet start

Dillon ran for 63 yards on 14 carries and caught a four-yard pass on one target against Detroit on Sunday.

Analysis: Dillon started in place of Aaron Jones (knee) and played effectively enough, but his appearance was abbreviated in this meaningless game, denying him the pass-catching production he would normally project for here in a matchup like this. Fourth-string back Patrick Taylor took over for Dillon for most of the second half and turned 11 carries into 53 yards and a touchdown. Jones should be back by the time the Packers exit their first-round bye in the playoffs, so Dillon should return to an off-the-bench role at that point. He finishes the regular season with 803 yards and five touchdowns on 187 carries (4.3 YPC) while catching 34 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns on 37 targets (91.9 percent catch rate, 8.5 YPT).

Jan 9, 2022 2:44 PM EST

May be featured with Jones out

Dillon and Patrick Taylor are the running backs available to the Packers offense Sunday in Detroit with Aaron Jones (knee) inactive, Mike Spofford of the team's official site reports.

Analysis: Green Bay is opting to rest Jones, who has dealt with a knee injury since Week 10. Dillon is the clear top option between himself and Taylor, but it's unclear if the team will ride the former or opt for a split of the RB snaps and touches with the latter. No matter, Dillon has handled at least 50 percent of offensive snaps in five of the last seven games, a span in which he averaged 16.6 touches for 80 yards from scrimmage and scored six total TDs.

Jan 9, 2022 8:50 AM EST

Ices game with two scores

Dillon rushed 14 times for 63 yards and two touchdowns while catching two of three targets for 20 more yards in Sunday's 37-10 win over the Vikings.

Analysis: Aaron Jones (13 touches for 106 yards) was more efficient in terms of per-touch production, but Dillon got extended run in the second half and pounded his way to two scores. It was the 2020 second-round pick's second two-score game this season and seventh touchdown overall. Dillon has worked his way into a "thunder and lightning" timeshare with Jones, staying fantasy relevant even after his backfield mate returned from injury. The Packers clinched the first seed in the NFC, so it will be interesting to see if they rest any starters against the Lions next week. If Jones does end up resting or playing limited snaps, Dillon would see a huge boost in value in the regular season finale.

Jan 2, 2022 10:30 PM EST

Solid complementary performance

Dillon rushed nine times for 41 yards and secured all three of his targets for 15 yards in the Packers' 24-22 win over the Browns on Saturday.

Analysis: Dillon operated in his usual complementary role with efficacy, averaging 4.6 yards per carry and also recording the third-highest reception tally on the evening for Green Bay. Dillon does have back-to-back single-digit carry tallies, capping his fantasy value somewhat heading into a Week 17 home date against the Vikings.

Dec 25, 2021 5:33 PM EST

Punches in touchdown

Dillion rushed seven times for 22 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 31-30 win over the Ravens. He also caught his lone target for 13 yards.

Analysis: Dillion opened the scoring for Green Bay with a two-yard touchdown plunge during the second quarter. While that marked his fourth end-zone trip over his last five games, Dillion otherwise didn't get much going, with his long rush going for just six yards. In contrast, teammate Aaron Jones carried 13 times for 58 yards and caught both his targets for 12 yards and a score. Even though Sunday's yardage wasn't anything special, Dillion's consistent involvement in tandem with Jones, as well as his recent scoring touch in Green Bay's high-powered offense, still makes him a solid option in Week 16 versus Cleveland.

Dec 19, 2021 5:57 PM EST

Leads team in rushing

Dillion rushed 15 times for 71 yards and was not targeted in the passing game in Sunday's 45-30 win over Chicago.

Analysis: Dillon continued to see the lion's share of rushing attempts in comparison to Aaron Jones (15 to five), while latter took over the receiving work (three catches to zero). Both players bring such differing rushing profiles to the table, with the larger Dillon bringing a physical north-south running style, while Jones is more agile and is a smoother receiver out of the backfield. This is developing into a timeshare situation similar to the Cleveland Browns, who have the "thunder and lighting" combination of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt (when both are healthy). Both talented backs give Aaron Rodgers even more weapons to torment defenses with, and both players carry value in standard leagues heading into a Week 15 matchup with Baltimore.

Dec 12, 2021 10:28 PM EST

Maintains role as lead back

Dillon recorded 20 carries for 69 yards in Sunday's 36-28 win over the Rams. He added five receptions for 21 yards and a touchdown.

Analysis: Dillon saw 14 carries in the second half of the game as the Packers looked to run out the clock on a lead, and he out-carried Aaron Jones 20-10 as a result. Despite that impressive volume, the most notable part of Dillon's production was his work as a receiver. He recorded the first receiving touchdown of his career midway through the third quarter and now has four or more receptions in three of his last four games. After the contest, coach Matt LaFleur called the backfield "A 1A and 1B" situation according to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic, so all indications suggest the Dillon will remain heavily involved in the offense even with the return of Jones.

Nov 28, 2021 7:42 PM EST

Gets Jones back in fold

Dillon will be joined by Aaron Jones (knee) in the Packers backfield in the latter's return to the lineup Sunday versus the Rams, Mike Spofford of the team's official site reports.

Analysis: Jones sat out last Sunday's loss at Minnesota due to an MCL sprain suffered one week prior, but his absence will be contained to one contest after he got through a pregame workout unscathed. The breakdown of reps between Jones and Dillon is up in the air. In the nine outings in which Jones has been healthy this season, Dillon ranged between four and 16 touches and 25 and 44 percent of the offensive snaps en route to 8.4 touches for 54.3 yards from scrimmage per game while scoring one receiving TD.

Nov 28, 2021 12:06 PM EST

97 combined yards in first start

Dillon rushed 11 times for 53 yards and caught all six targets for 44 more yards in Sunday's 34-31 loss to the Vikings.

Analysis: Dillon received his first career start in place of Aaron Jones (knee), who is still recovering from a sprained MCL. The second-year back wasn't able to repeat last week's two-score performance in relief of Jones, but he was more efficient on ground (4.8 yards per carry). Jones' status for Week 12 is still uncertain, so Dillon could get another start against the Rams next Sunday if the Packers opt to rest its top back for one more week before the Week 13 bye.

Nov 21, 2021 3:48 PM EST

Locked in for first career start

Dillon is set to make his first NFL start Sunday in Minnesota with the Packers officially ruling top back Aaron Jones (knee) out for the contest, Wes Hodkiewicz of the Packers' official site reports.

Analysis: After Jones exited last week's 17-0 win over the Seahawks and was later diagnosed with an MCL sprain, the expectation was that he would be sidelined for 1-to-2 weeks. Unsurprisingly, Jones was unable to practice Wednesday through Friday while managing the injury, clearing the way for Dillon to step in as Green Bay's clear lead back this weekend. Through his first two NFL seasons, the six-foot, 247-pound Dillon has averaged an excellent 4.6 yards per carry, but it's his improvement as a pass catcher in Year 2 that could set him up for a three-down role in his Week 11 start. Dillon is averaging a stellar 10.9 yards per target across his 18 looks on the season, and the Packers' lack of established depth behind him means he'll likely get all the work he can handle so long as the game stays competitive. He's a clear must-start option in all weekly leagues while Jones is sidelined.

Nov 20, 2021 8:47 AM EST

Likely set for Week 11 start

Dillon is expected to serve as the Packers' lead back in Sunday's game against the Vikings after starter Aaron Jones (knee) was diagnosed Monday with a "mild" MCL sprain that will likely sideline him for 1-to-2 weeks, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Analysis: Green Bay has yet to provide an official update on Jones' condition, but the fifth-year back appears on track to miss his first game of the season after suffering the injury in question in the Packers' 17-0 win over the Seahawks this past weekend. Following Jones' departure, Dillon dominated the work out of the backfield and finished with 128 yards from scrimmage and a two touchdowns on 23 touches (21 carries, two receptions). While he's a less accomplished receiver than Jones and may not hold as sizable of a role on obvious passing downs, Dillon's combination of size (six-foot, 247 pounds) and burst makes him one of the NFL's better No. 2 options. Moreover, the lack of established depth behind him should leave Dillon primed to handle a heavy workload against the Vikings, making him an excellent starting option in just about any weekly league. In Dillon's lone other opportunity in a leading role back in Week 16 of last season against the Titans while Jones was limited with a toe injury and No. 2 option Jamaal Williams was sidelined with a quad injury, the Boston College product amassed 129 yards from scrimmage and two scores on 22 touches.

Nov 15, 2021 11:15 AM EST

Plays hero off the bench

Dillon ran for 66 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries and caught two passes for 62 yards on two targets against Seattle on Sunday.

Analysis: Aaron Jones left the game with a knee injury that will require monitoring, though the Packers initially stated they believe it to be an MCL injury of some sort. A significant MCL sprain could keep Jones out multiple weeks, and if so it would require Dillon to step into a three-down, workhorse role like he did against the Seahaws. The upcoming Vikings run defense is no pushover, but Dillon is a substantial talent and could prove imposing with a bigger workload. If Jones is able to bounce back quickly and suit up against Minnesota then Dillon would likely revert to more of a FLEX consideration in fantasy.

Nov 14, 2021 4:52 PM EST

Busy off the bench

Dillon ran for 46 yards on eight carries and caught four passes for 44 yards on four targets against Kansas City on Sunday.

Analysis: Dillon was very effective with his usage, but as the game went on the Packers struggled to keep him consistently involved in the road loss. The Packers might want to get both Dillon and starter Aaron Jones more touches, especially if they're forced to start Jordan Love again when the Packers face the Seahawks in Green Bay. The first-time starter wasn't prepared to direct the Packers offense, and the Packers running back duo might be their best way to limit Love's exposure as a passer.

Nov 7, 2021 6:24 PM EST

Expanded rushing opportunity in win

Dillon rushed 16 times for 78 yards in the Packers' 24-21 win over the Cardinals on Thursday night.

Analysis: The big-bodied running back paced the Packers in carries on a night when Aaron Jones essentially pulled double duty as a de facto wide receiver due to the team's shortages at the position. Dillon was efficient with his opportunities, and his carry total was a career-high figure. Dillon has shown well on the three occasions on which he's logged double-digit rush attempts this season, which could potentially lead to more consistent opportunity as the second half of the campaign unfolds.

Oct 28, 2021 9:39 PM EST

Diminished role in Week 6

Dillon had three carries for six yards and one reception for two yards in Sunday's 24-10 victory over Washington.

Analysis: Dillon was coming off a three-game stretch over which he averaged 13 touches and 78.3 yards from scrimmage per contest, but he played a reduced role in Week 6 and made only a minor mark in the box score. At the least, Dillon's limited workload should leave him fresh for the Packers' Week 7 matchup with the Cardinals on Thursday, but he will have a tough time getting back on track against an Arizona defense that has allowed opposing running backs to find the end zone just once -- and once only -- all season.

Oct 25, 2021 9:45 AM EST

Effective as complementary option

Dillon rushed 11 times for 59 yards in the Packers' 24-14 win over the Bears on Sunday.

Analysis: Dillon was a highly effective thunder to Aaron Jones' lightning, averaging 5.4 yards per carry and ripping off a game-long 36-yard run. The big-bodied second-year back has eclipsed 50 rushing yards in two of his last three games, and although he was shut out of the air attack for the first time this season Sunday, Dillon continues to progressively augment his fantasy value in an offense where lead back Aaron Jones' rushing touches are typically kept under 20.

Oct 17, 2021 3:52 PM EST

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