GREEN BAY, Wis. — A.J. Dillon's roller coaster rookie season hit its high point Sunday night, as the Packers running back rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns in Green Bay's impressive win over the Tennessee Titans.
Just weeks after being reinstated after a bout with COVID-19, Dillon nearly doubled his number of carries on Sunday: He came in with 24, and finished with 45.
Waiting behind Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams for much of the season, Dillon finally got his opportunity as Williams missed the game with a quadriceps injury.
He took it and ran with it - literally.
"I've always prided myself on being prepared and ready when my number is called," Dillon said following Sunday's game.
His professional preparation began before he even entered Lambeau Field. With no OTAs or minicamp last spring, Dillon was one of several Packers who spent the offseason working out at Synergy Sports Performance in Hobart.
There, he trained with owner Scotty Smith, a former Packers employee who said he wasn't surprised by Dillon's dominant day.
"That's what I expected from him," Smith said Tuesday. "I knew that once he got a little bit of time to get in there and get some plays and repetition under his belt that that was totally what he'd be capable of doing."
"The power that he can generate and the explosiveness that he has is probably unlike any other athlete that we've had some through here," Smith said. "I can think of one guy (former Packers OLB Mike Neal) that we've had in the past that we can compare to from a leg size stand point which is just remarkable."
But Dillon's training isn't all about the quads. At synergy last spring and summer, Dillon spent two days a week on his now-famous lower body strength, two days on his upper body and a fifth day working on more football-oriented drills.
But after a less-than-stellar Lambeau Leap, could a change be on the way?
"It was funny actually," Smith joked. "A.J. actually texted me after the game and said that we may need to send a few more leg days this offseason and I kind of chucked and said, yeah we can do that."
"I was just so excited I think I might have jumped from too far," Dillon laughed. "I don't know but I'm gonna get it down pat. I promise you that."