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Bye-bye Packers' TD record? Aaron Jones one score away with one to play

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Jake Kumerow claimed to not even know how many touchdowns Aaron Jones has this season. Davante Adams not only knows exactly how many Jones has but claimed to have called it long ago.

Either way, Jones' penchant for the end zone could reach record proportions Sunday.

The Green Bay Packers running back needs just one touchdown in the regular-season finale at the Detroit Lions to match the franchise single-season record of 20 held by Ahman Green since 2003.

"Uno mas," Jones said after he scored two touchdowns in Monday night's victory over the Minnesota Vikings to run his season total to 19.

Jones has 16 rushing touchdowns -- one more than Green had during the 2003 season. His 19 touchdowns overall is tied with Jim Taylor, who had all 19 of his during the 1962 season on runs -- in 14 games.

Kumerow was one of the first players to meet Jones in the end zone on his 19th touchdown -- the 56-yard fourth-quarter run that sealed Monday night's win at Minnesota -- but he wasn't keeping count.

When told it was Jones' 19th score, Kumerow asked: "This year?"

When asked if he could fathom scoring that many times in 15 games, the second-year receiver from Wisconsin-Whitewater said he actually could.

"Yeah, I did it at Whitewater," Kumerow said. "My junior year, I had 19."

How badly did he want No. 20?

"Bad, but 19 set the record, so I was cool with it," he said. "I beat the record. The record was 18."

Kumerow didn't know that 20 is the Packers' record.

"Is it?" He asked. "This week, then."

It wouldn't surprise Adams if Jones gets there -- and even beyond.

"We're not done," Adams said. "He's put up four in a game before, so you never know.

"I don't know if he ever told you when he first got here, I called it and said that he's going to be the player he is today. So I like to take a little bit of credit for that."

Adams claimed he told Jones that shortly after the Packers picked the running back in the fifth round of the 2017 draft.

"I did -- you can ask him," Adams said. "I called him my dark horse from the beginning. He's my guy."

According to Adams, the pick came about because a year earlier fellow receiver Jordy Nelson made a dark-horse pick of his own.

"Jordy had Justin Perillo as his dark horse," Adams said. "That's like our biggest thing. I've battled with him on that one."

Adams clearly won that competition. Perillo managed just one career touchdown in 20 games with the Packers over parts of three seasons and never played in the NFL again after 2016.

"There was something about the way he went about his business," Adams said when asked why he picked Jones. "I noticed in [the offseason], in that time period he had a crazy focus, really militant. I came to find out his parents were in the military later, so it made a lot of sense. Head down, just working type of guy. He still had some baby fat at that point, too. He's all shredded up now. He looks as good as he's playing right now, which is obviously going to help no matter what."

Much like Green did in 2003, when he also set the franchise single-season rushing record with 1,883 yards, Jones has become the focal point of the offense. And much like Green took some of the burden off quarterback Brett Favre to carry the Packers, Jones has done the same for Aaron Rodgers, who has seen his numbers go down even as wins are up.

Jones not only leads the NFL in touchdowns (one more than Carolina's Christian McCaffrey), but he's on the verge of topping the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time in his career. He needs just 16 yards in the finale to do so. He ranks ninth in the NFL among all running backs in total yards from scrimmage (1,415) this season.

"Obviously we'd love to get him 1,000 because I think he's earned it," Rodgers said. "He ran really hard all year and has been a big part of our success. Twenty touchdowns would be fantastic. That's a pretty big number for a running back, especially in this day and age when you're seeing less feature backs."

If Jones gets the record, he might say that will be his most memorable score, but he already has plenty to choose from.

"I would say probably the coolest one was against Dallas on the wave," Jones said of his touchdown run in Week 5, when he waved bye-bye to Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones on his way to the end zone. "That was probably the coolest one. ... Or even the one Monday night because it was a game clincher."

Jones admitted he almost waved goodbye again on that final touchdown in Minnesota, but said he stopped himself because he remembered the fine he incurred from the NFL for his taunting wave at Dallas.

On Sunday in Detroit, he might wave goodbye to the old Packers touchdown record.