Nov 29, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones (27) runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs RB Ronald Jones game-time decision vs. Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones will be a game-time decision for Sunday’s NFC divisional-round clash against the New Orleans Saints, coach Bruce Arians announced.

Arians also said while Jones’ health improved on Friday, Leonard Fournette will get the start versus the host Saints.

Jones (finger/quad) missed Wednesday’s practice before being limited on Thursday.

Jones, 23, was active for Saturday’s wild-card game against the Washington Football Team, however he aggravated a quad injury prior to the contest.

Fournette, 25, rushed 19 times for 93 yards and a touchdown in Tampa Bay’s 31-23 win over Washington.

“He’s a helluva a player, he played really, really well last week and we’ve trusted him all year,” Arians said of Fournette, per the Tampa Bay Times.

Jones led the team in carries (192), rushing yards (978) and rushing touchdowns (seven).

Fournette had 97 rushes for 367 yards and six scores during the regular season.

–Field Level Media

Jan 3, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones (27) runs the ball in for a touchdown  against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs RB Ronald Jones returns to practice

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones returned to practice Thursday after missing last week’s wild-card game against Washington.

Jones (finger/quad) was limited after missing Wednesday’s practice.

Jones, 23, was active for Saturday’s wild-card game against the Washington Football Team, however he aggravated a quad injury prior to the contest.

Fellow running back Leonard Fournette stepped up in his absence, rushing 19 times for 93 yards and a touchdown in Tampa Bay’s 31-23 win over Washington.

Jones led the team in carries (192), rushing yards (978) and rushing touchdowns (seven) during the regular season.

Wide receivers Mike Evans (knee) and Chris Godwin (hip/quad) were listed as limited participants for the second consecutive day.

Cornerback Carlton Davis (groin) was also limited.

The Bucs visits the New Orleans Saints on Sunday in an NFC divisional playoff game.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones (27) runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Bruce Arians plays waiting game with Ronald Jones

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians is keeping a positive outlook on running back Ronald Jones.

“‘Ro’ is getting better (but) he did not practice today. I anticipate and hope he can go tomorrow,” Arians said Wednesday.

Jones, 23, was active for Saturday’s wild-card game against the Washington Football Team, however he aggravated a quad injury prior to the contest.

Fellow running back Leonard Fournette stepped up in his absence, rushing 19 times for 93 yards and a touchdown in Tampa Bay’s 31-23 win over Washington.

It’s too early to tell how the carries will be distributed on Sunday when the Buccaneers visit the New Orleans Saints in their NFC divisional round game.

Jones led the team in carries (192), rushing yards (978) and rushing touchdowns (seven).

Fournette, 25, had 97 rushes for 367 yards and six scores as part of the platoon.

“Yeah, I’m good. I’m fresh to be honest,” Fournette said of how he feels at this point of the year. “I think my total carries for this year is around 100 — usually around this time I’m at 300-something to be honest.

“Like I say, ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ I’m just happy to be a part of the team. (I am) doing my job to help the team get to where we want to be and what we want to win.”

LeSean McCoy, 32, returned to practice on Wednesday after missing time with an illness. The veteran would be in line for additional backup work should Jones sit out versus the Saints.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones (27) runs with the ball as Minnesota Vikings defensive back Chris Jones (26) defends during the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs activate RB Jones from virus list

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers activated running back Ronald Jones II from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday, according to the team.

Jones missed the last two contests for the Bucs, while Leonard Fournette took over lead-back duties for the playoff-bound Bucs.

Jones will likely slot right back into the workhorse role for Tampa Bay (10-5) in Week 17 in a matchup against the Atlanta Falcons if the finger he fractured in Week 14 has healed.

“I’ve got my fingers crossed that we can get him a bunch of game action this week,” said coach Bruce Arians, “but I’m not going to risk it (if he is) not able to protect himself.”

The 23-year-old has rushed 180 times for a career-high 900 yards to go along with six touchdowns this season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones (27) runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs rule out RB Jones for Saturday

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones will not play and cornerback Carlton Davis will be a game-time decision Saturday in Detroit.

Head coach Bruce Arians said Thursday that Jones will not be able to clear COVID-19 protocols in time. Davis left last Sunday’s win in Atlanta with a groin injury.

Jones was recovering from surgery on his fractured left pinkie finger when he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Dec. 16.

Jones, 23, leads the Buccaneers and ranks eighth in the NFL with 900 rushing yards in 13 games. He has 28 catches for 165 yards and has scored seven touchdowns (six rushing). He hurt his finger while blocking during a Week 14 win against the Minnesota Vikings.

Leonard Fournette likely will make his second straight start for Jones when the Bucs (9-5) face the Lions (5-9). Fournette ran for 49 yards and two touchdowns in the 31-27 victory against the Falcons.

Davis, 23, has started all 14 games this season. He leads the NFL with 18 passes defensed and leads the Bucs with four interceptions to go along with 68 tackles.

Tampa Bay will clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie against the Lions, or if the Chicago Bears lose or tie with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Nov 29, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones (27) runs the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Arians: Bucs RB Jones may have broken his pinkie

Tampa Bay running back Ronald Jones may have broken his pinkie finger in Sunday’s game, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said Monday.

Jones apparently suffered the injury in the first half but didn’t miss any action, finishing with 18 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown in the Bucs’ 26-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

“Whether they have to put a pin in it or not, we have to wait and see,” Arians told reporters. “I don’t know what that will do. Chris [Godwin] played through it and we’ll see what happens with him. I think that’s about it as far as anything that could be major.”

The Bucs (8-5) are scheduled to play at the Atlanta Falcons (4-9) this Sunday.

Jones is No. 4 in the NFL with 900 yards rushing on the season to go with six touchdowns. He’s averaging 5.0 yards a carry. He also has 28 receptions for 165 yards and a score.

–Field Level Media

Nov 3, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones (27) during the second half at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Tampa Bay 40-34. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Arians: Jones ‘main guy’ in Bucs’ deep backfield

Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians said Ronald Jones will “carry the load” in the Buccaneers’ crowded backfield in 2020.

“RoJo is the main guy; he’ll carry the load,” Arians told reporters Wednesday. “All of those other guys are fighting for roles — (for) who goes in second when he gets tired, maybe who is the third-down guy. But they’re all fighting for a role and special teams will have a lot to do with that.”

Jones, who turned 23 on Monday, led the Bucs in carries (172) and rushing yards (724) and tied Peyton Barber for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns in 2019. He added 31 catches for 309 yards in 16 games.

That production followed a disappointing rookie season in which the 2018 second-round draft pick only received 30 offensive touches and produced 77 yards from scrimmage in nine games.

“He improved dramatically from last April to December,” Arians said. “He has shown that he’s the guy. He is a guy with a lot of talent. He is excellent in the screen game. His run-after-catch is good. Just for him — how much can he expand it? But I have all the confidence in the world (in him). He put a lot of time in working out and catching balls to improve his hands in the offseason and it’s showing up already.”

Barber signed with Washington in the offseason, but Tampa Bay drafted two running backs (Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Raymond Calais) in April and signed veteran LeSean McCoy on Monday. The roster also includes Dare Ogunbowale, who caught 35 passes for 286 yards out of the Bucs’ backfield in 2019.

Arians said the 32-year-old McCoy, who has rushed for 11,071 yards in 11 NFL seasons, has already been coaching and helping the younger players.

“LeSean, adding him, he’s a great veteran. He’s a very bright guy,” Arians said. “He’ll find his niche easily. … He’s a heck of a receiver. That’s the one thing that gets me excited having played against him all these years is that he’s a hell of a receiver and he’s still got a very explosive first step. Yeah, I think that will be a big part of it.”

–Field Level Media