Jones was inactive in Green Bay's regular-season opener and didn't receive a carry the next two games. But Jones has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in two of the last three games, including a career-best 131 yards on only 17 carries against New Orleans last week.
In the process, Jones has supplanted Ty Montgomery as Green Bay's No. 1 running back. In Sunday's game, Jones played 44 of Green Bay's 55 offensive snaps (80.0 percent), while former starter Ty Montgomery played just seven (12.7 percent).
"I think he's No. 1 in tune with what we're doing from a blocking standpoint," Packers offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett said. "I think he does an outstanding job running with his pad level, he's very instinctive runner, very decisive, puts his foot in the ground, goes north and south, attacks the defense.
"And the other thing that stands out probably more than anything else; he always for the most part finishes moving forward. He has great pad level and body lean moving forward."
Jones was taken in the fifth round - the 182nd overall selection - of April's draft for a few reasons.
Jones put up a mediocre time in the 40-yard dash (4.56) and had just 16 reps of 225 on the bench press. Despite the fact Jones ran for more than 4,000 yards at Texas-El Paso, the competition he faced was ordinary. And at just 5-foot-9, 208 pounds, Jones doesn't have great size.
But Jones has already shown far more than any other running back on the roster and figures to be Green Bay's bell cow in the second half of the season.
Jones has terrific vision and patience. He's proven extremely tough to bring down. Once Jones hits the second and third level, he's not easy to catch. And Jones has a unique ability to maintain full speed while making a cut.
"I don't want to say it's a rare trait, but it's very beneficial, because I've been around guys who have that same ability to where they don't have to slow down," Packers running backs coach Ben Sirmans said of Jones' ability to cut and not lose speed. "Part of it is you have to be a really good, instinctive runner. So that way you don't have to wait for things to slow down and happen before you put your foot in the ground.
"To me in this league, I guess you can say even in college, it is a great trait to have, because the holes open and close so much faster at this level. That way, when you are running with the ball, you stick your foot in the ground, you're making the cut. If you can keep that same speed to get through the hole before it closes or before the defense converges on you, it's definitely beneficial."
Jones has used all of those qualities to explode onto the scene in Green Bay.
Jones was forced into action when Montgomery suffered broken ribs in Week 4 and rushed 13 times for 49 yards and a touchdown. Jones had a breakout 19-carry, 125-yard day against Dallas in Week 5.
Then Jones took it up another notch last week against New Orleans, even with quarterback Aaron Rodgers sidelined.
"You always want to be able to run the ball," Jones said. "That always makes it easier on any quarterback you play with. The run game is very important. I'm getting more and more confident every week."
Green Bay's bye week comes at a good time, as it tries getting quarterback Brett Hundley up to speed.
Hundley replaced Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) in a Week 6 loss at Minnesota, threw three interceptions and had a paltry passer rating of 39.6. With a full week to prepare, Hundley wasn't any better and had a 39.9 rating against New Orleans last week.
Hundley said he would stay in Green Bay during the bye, put in extra time with the coaching staff, and aim for bigger and better when the Packers return.
"You know obviously with the bye, you get to get away from football for a second, but the mindset is still, we've got to come back and win games," Hundley said. "Because we face Detroit at home, a Monday night game, so the mindset is winning. Obviously, the bye week we'll be able to get away and just sort of get our minds away. Come back to it. But we've got to win. That's all I've got to say. We just have to win."
"You can go back and look at the game, we had some opportunities," Bennett said. "But we also when those opportunities came about, maybe there was a breakdown from a fundamental standpoint as far as from pass protection and it wasn't quite as clean as it needs to be as far as keeping Brett in rhythm.
"And keeping him on his time clock. So that occurred (Sunday). I think it all plays a factor in our plan and what we plan on doing, going out and executing."
For the second time in three weeks, the Packers' defense had just 10 men on the field at one point in Sunday's loss. New Orleans made Green Bay pay, as running back Mark Ingram II ripped off a 12-yard touchdown run.
"Well it happened so late that it was hard, you didn't realize," Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. "They were up there and snapping the ball and all of a sudden one of our guys at the critical spot wasn't out there. That happens sometimes if you've got, again, a lot of moving parts and you get a guy injured. You've got to really be on top of that."
One reason for the communication breakdown is the Packers have played the last two weeks without safety and defensive leader Morgan Burnett (hamstring). With Burnett sidelined, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has been wearing the defense's communication headset.
Clinton-Dix, a Pro Bowler in 2016, is in the middle of a down year. And the Packers' communication isn't nearly as good with Clinton-Dix as it is with Burnett.
"He's had a lot more on his plate, you know, so who knows how much that affects people," Capers said of Clinton-Dix. "I mean ... when you get used to playing, you know, he's been playing with Morgan out there. Morgan takes on a different role and Ha can focus in on certain things and now Ha's had to pick up that role and it gives him a lot more responsibility."
Inside linebacker Blake Martinez has made enormous strides in his second season. Martinez is tied for the NFL lead with 64 tackles and has had double-digit tackles in three straight games.
"He's obviously played, probably, as many snaps as anybody," Capers said of Martinez. "I mean he's been able to stay on the field and he's been productive. He's made progress and he's been productive in the first seven games."
NOTES: T Don Barclay was released off injured reserve Tuesday. Barclay played in 62 games and made 24 starts between 2012-16. ... WR Max McCaffrey, one of the stars of training camp, was signed to the Packers' practice squad.