The Green Bay Packers are set to open training camp later this month. This is the next in a series of articles previewing the Packers position by position, analyzing the talent on the roster and discussing key questions that are facing the team as they begin preparation for the 2024 season. Today we will examine the running back position. We will examine another position each day until the start of training camp.

To see our preview of the quarterbacks, click here and for defensive tackles, click here.

Packers 2024 Training Camp Position Preview Running Back, Projected Starter: Josh Jacobs

The Packers signed former Raiders running back Josh Jacobs as a free agent and released last year’s starter, Aaron Jones when he wouldn’t agree to a pay cut.

Jacobs led the NFL with 1,653 rushing yards in 2022 but fell off to 805 yards in 13 games a year ago. The former Alabama star also saw his yards per attempt go down from 4.9 to 3.5.

Jacobs is a good receiver out of the backfield and could be more durable than Jones was because of his size. Head coach Matt LaFleur must figure out how many touches to give Jacobs and exactly how to best utilize him.

If Jacobs returns to his 2022 form, the Packers offense could have a better running game than they’ve had in recent seasons.

Packers 2024 Training Camp Position Preview Running Back, Projected Backups: A.J. Dillon

Most experts expected Jones to be back and A.J. Dillon to depart via free agency. Instead, Dillon signed a team-friendly, one-year, prove-it deal.

Dillon struggled early last season when he was asked to be the primary back due to injuries to Jones. His play did pick up a bit later in the season, but Dillon still had a career-worst 3.4-yards per attempt and his 613 yards was the lowest number since his rookie season.

Dillon gives the Packers a different style of runner than the other players on the roster. He still needs to show he can be effective to keep his spot on the roster and carve out a role in the offense.

MarShawn Lloyd

GM Brian Gutekunst selected MarShawn Lloyd in the third round of the 2024 NFL Draft. The coaching staff has been raving about Lloyd’s potential since seeing him at OTAs.

Lloyd has great speed and cutting ability. He is a breakaway threat nearly every time he touches the ball.

The USC alum needs to show the coaching staff he can pick up blitzes and protect the quarterback, catch passes out of the backfield and cut down on a fumbling issue he had in college. If he can do that, he can carve out a role for himself in the Green Bay offense.

Emanuel Wilson

Injuries limited Emanuel Wilson to just seven regular season games last season. He made the team as an undrafted free agent after leading the NFL in rushing yards in the preseason.

Wilson only carried 14 times for 85 yards but did average 6.1-yards per carry. He demonstrated lots of potential when running with the football. He also caught four passes for 23 yards.

Wilson may be the odd man out with the addition of Lloyd, but he won’t give up without a fight and will be a player to watch this preseason.

Ellis Merriweather

The Packers signed Ellis Merriweather to their practice squad last November, but he never appeared in a regular season game. He also spent time on the Saints practice squad.

The former U Mass-Amhurst star knows the offense after finishing the season on the Packers practice squad but remains a longshot to make the roster.

Jarveon Howard

The Packers signed Jarveon Howard as an undrafted free agent on April 30. The former Alcorn State star also spent time at Syracuse before transferring to Alcorn State.

His best season in college came in 2022 when he gained 1,273 yards. Howard hopes to make an impression on the coaching staff and may earn a spot on the practice squad.

Three Key Questions for the Packers Running Back

Packers 2024 Training Camp Position Preview Running Back: Question One, How Much of a Workload will Josh Jacobs Have?

Jacobs can carry the ball more frequently than Jones who the Packers were always worried about overworking. Obviously, LaFleur doesn’t want to overwork Jacobs either, but when needed, the new starter should be able to carry the ball more frequently than his predecessor especially when the Packers want to close out a game.

Jacobs seems determined to play a big role in the offense and how the team integrates him into the passing attack will also be interesting.

Question Two: Who Will Win the Backup Job?

Will Dillon be back as the number two? Will Lloyd beat him out for the job? This battle will be an interesting one. It may hinge on how quickly the coaches are confident in Lloyd’s ability to do his job when he’s not carrying the football.

Question Three, Who Else Makes the Roster?

Does Dillon make the roster this season? The Packers could trade or cut him with few cap-related consequences.

What will happen to Wilson who showed a lot of potential last preseason? Does he take a step forward or has he showed the coaching staff everything he has?

How often will the backup running backs get the ball?

These are all questions that will be settled by the end of the preseason.



Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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