Ronald Jones Injury Status: Buccaneers RB Is A Game-Time Decision, Leonard Fournette to Start
Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Ronald Jones
Ronald Jones is a game-time decision heading into Buccaneers vs. Saints on Sunday, but even if he’s healthy enough to play he’s not expected to start.
Leonard Fournette will start in the backfield for the Buccaneers, head coach Bruce Arians told reporters this week. Arians confirmed the decision on Jones won’t come until game time.
“(Jones will) be a game-time decision,” Arians said. “But Leonard will start the game, and we’ll see how Ro is and full-speed, then he’ll get his normal reps.”
That leaves the door open for Jones believers, but it’s difficult to trust an Arians backfield. It’s clear Fournette is the trusted option right now.
Although Fournette averaged just 3.8 yards per carry during the regular season, he put up 93 yards on 19 carries (4.9 YPC) in the wild-card win over Washington.
Jones was active last week but surprisingly didn’t play a snap. It was later revealed he was dealing with a quad injury. It’s that injury that has him limited in practice. He didn’t practice Wednesday and was a limited participant on Thursday and Friday.
Jones led the team in rushing with 978 yards during the regular season but also had four games with fewer than 10 attempts. He carried the ball 17 times for 66 yards in the season-opening loss to the Saints. He ran only three times for 9 yards in the 38-3 blowout loss to New Orleans mid-season.
It’s more likely Tampa Bay’s chances rest on Tom Brady’s shoulder. The Bucs’ three most valuable non-quarterbacks are his receivers: Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Antonio Brown. Neither Jones nor Fournette are considered top-five non-quarterbacks according to Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics.