With an injury and surgery for Ronald Jones, the Buccaneers may have to move on to their more than capable backup, Leonard Fournette, this weekend.
The Ronald Jones–Leonard Fournette backfield tandem has generally been a breath of fresh air for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. Sure, there is room for improvement, specifically on Fournette’s end, but this backfield is far better than most of the recent iterations.
Ronald Jones has emerged as the clear starter, but this did not always seem like a forgone conclusion. Jones experienced a shaky start to the season when the Bucs added three new running backs that could earn valuable minutes, but he held firm and kept his job.
Fournette was one of the biggest surprise additions last offseason. The Buccaneers had a good unit on paper, but you can’t turn down a player with his upside. The two parties reached a deal, and Fournette provided great relief for Jones at the start of the year.
The newest running back for the Buccaneers looked better than good at the start. After a stretch of excellent efficiency with limited reps, Fournette appeared to be in a position to earn the starting job, but an injury mixed with a drop-off in production nixed that idea.
Regardless of not performing at the expected level, Fournette is still a good, young running back with potential, and he will probably get a chance to prove himself this weekend.