Buccaneers: Training camp position battles to watch
Third Running Back: Charles Sims – VS – Jeremy McNichols
With Running back Jaquizz Rodgers embedded as the number one back while Doug Martin is serving his three game suspension that leaves Charles Sims, Jeremy McNichols, and Peyton Barber to battle for the second and third running back spots.
Most likely during training camp Martin will share the number one running back carries with Rodgers so that he is ready to be 1A-1B with Rodgers when he returns from his suspension.
Meaning in reality that Sims and McNichols will be battling for the third running spot while Barber will basically going to be a fourth/practice squad back during training camp.
Sims has not lived up to what the Buccaneers were hoping when they drafted him in the third round of the 2014 draft as a change of pace pass catching back, and that is mainly due to his inability to stay healthy.
In his first three seasons he has played in 31 out of 48 possible games missing nine games his rookie year and eight games last season due to injuries.
His best season in 2015 when he was able to stay healthy the entire season he only touched the ball a total of 158 times with 107 carries for 529 yards (4.9/carry) and 51 catches for 561 yards with four total touchdowns.
During his two injury plagued seasons (2014 and 2016) he had a total of 160 touches for 334 yard rushing and 380 yards receiving with three total touchdowns.
He has played a total of 922 snaps out of the 3209 offensive snaps or just 28.7% of the offensive snaps during his three seasons, and as you see by the stats listed above has shown flashes but not been super effective which is possibly why they drafted running back Jeremy McNichols in the fifth round.
McNichols comes to the Buccaneers after two outstanding years at Boise State (yeah I know against the Mountain West Conference but still) with a two year total of 554 carries 3046 yards (5.5/carry) and an amazing 43 (21/season) rushing touchdowns.
Plus, 88 receptions 934 yards and 10 touchdowns giving him a total of 3980 yards from scrimmage, and maybe the most importantly thing is that he only missed one game during those two amazing seasons.
McNichols is that outstanding receiver out of the backfield that the Buccaneers hoped Sims would be, and has proved at least in his college career that he can take the punishment of being rusher as well as stay healthy (although he did have off-season shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum after the combine and has missed all of the OTAs and minicamp).
If he can return during training camp he could unseat Sims as the third running back after Doug Martin returns from his three game suspension.