NFL player Aaron Jones lost his father Alvin Jones Sr. this past April due to complications from COVID-19, and he’s since used a pendant to carry his dad’s ashes on his person during gameplay. In a September game versus the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers running back scored four touchdowns but lost the pendant on one of his winning plays. So when it was luckily found after the victory, Packers equipment manager Gordon “Red” Batty sewed a pocket onto Jones’ jersey that allows him always to have his ashes.
“[Red] put a pocket right on the left side,” Jones revealed last Friday, according to ESPN. He pointed to an area above his heart and continued, “So I can just drop it in there and not have to worry about it falling out. So I can play with it.”
Jones appeared on an episode of The Adam Schefter Podcast, which is set to air next week, and he told Schefter how much the gesture and Packers’ support has meant to him. “It just shows how special our staff is, and our support staff here with the Packers in Green Bay from the training staff to our equipment staff to [the] coaching staff to GM,” he said. “Just the whole time I’ve been experiencing this and dealing with this, they’ve been there for me from the funeral to this.”
When Alvin Sr. was alive, Jones would always point at him in the stands prior to kickoff. Losing the football-shaped pendant didn’t appear to rattle him too much because he lost it in the end zone at Lambeau Field. “I know he’s smiling,” Jones said at the postgame conference.
But later that night, Packers trainer Bryan “Flea” Engel searched the field for the pendant and returned it to Jones. “[Engel] found it, so we’re perfect,” Jones said on Milwaukee radio’s Steve Czaban Show, airing on 97.3 The Game. “Thank you to him. He was out there until 1:45 [a.m. CT]. It shows how much they care about us.”