Since the 2021 playoffs, Ronald Jones has taken a back seat to Fournette for the Buccaneers. The former second-round pick out of USC has increased opportunities with the hamstring injury to Fournette and could possibly be the team’s lead back come playoffs.
Jones has shown upside as a lead back in 2019 and 2020. In 2019 Jones rushed for 724 yards to go along with 309 receiving yards, meaning he went over 1,000 scrimmage yards to go along with 6 total touchdowns. In 2020, Jones was able to top 1000 scrimmage yards once again but increased his rushing total to over 900 yards.
In week 16 with Fournette out, Jones had 20 carries against the Carolina Panthers. He was able to rush for 65 yards with one rushing touchdown. Week 17 was a completely different story as the Jets completely shut down the Buccaneers rushing attack and Jones ended up with only 26 rushing yards.
Regardless of Fournette’s injury, it’s likely that Jones is out of Tampa as he’s fallen out of favor. He may be the lead back now, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the Buccaneers brought back Fournette and went with him and Ke’Shawn Vaughn.
Compared to Fournette, Jones isn’t as good of a pass-catching back. Jones has only one receiving touchdown in his career. Thankfully that wouldn’t be an issue for Miami as they have Myles Gaskin, who excels as a pass-catcher, on the roster.