On Thursday night, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers(3-2) were defeated on the road by the Chicago Bears(4-1) 20-19, but one bright spot in the loss was the play of running back Ronald Jones II.
The 23-year-old Jones had his second straight 100-yard game on Thursday night. Jones rushed for 106 yards on 17 carries, including a 37-yard scamper. With injuries to Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy, Jones has been getting the bulk of the carries for Tampa Bay, and according to Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, Jones is playing at a high level.
“I think RoJo (Ronald Jones II), he’s playing at an extremely high level,” Arians said on Friday. “I still can’t believe he didn’t get his touchdown where he made that catch, but that is the rule that you don’t get the forward progress after they blow the whistle. He’s running the ball well [and] making people miss, [getting to the] second level and making people miss.”
Arians is not the only one happy about Jones’ play. Buccaneers QB Tom Brady was also very complimentary of the third-year running back.
“Yeah, he played great,” Brady said about Jones on Thursday after the loss to Chicago. “Explosive runs and ran hard and took care of the football, and he’s a great runner. He’s just doing a great job for us. It was a short week. We knew there was some contingency, and hoping other guys get healthy, but it just wasn’t the case. He played really hard, and he played great.”
After five games, Jones has 74 carries for 359 yards and one touchdown. The 74 carries are fifth-most in the league and 359 yards is the third-most in the NFL at this stage of the season. Additionally, Jones is averaging 4.9 yards per carry. Now, when Fournette and McCoy are healthy, Jones’ workload will probably be reduced, but he’s the number one back for this team, so he’s going to get his touches, and after what we have seen the last two weeks, that’s not a bad thing for the Buccaneers.