Bucs RB Ronald Jones missed time early this week with swelling in his knee. But he practiced the past 2 days and is expected to play in Friday night's preseason game against the Browns, according to insider Greg Auman. Jones and RB Peyton Barber have split 1st-team snaps and touches almost right down the middle across the first 2 exhibitions.

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Bucs HC Bruce Arians said Monday that RB Ronald Jones has earned the right to start going forward. The 2nd-year back played on a season-high 53% of Tampa's offensive snaps in yesterday's loss to the Seahawks, taking 18 carries for 67 yards and a score. RB Peyton Barber carried just 4 times. It's looked like Jones was emerging as the Bucs' lead back at other times this season, but this is the 1st time we've heard it straight from Arians. That makes Jones easier to trust in Week 10 fantasy lineups in a nice matchup against the Cardinals.

Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones returned to practice Friday, according to ESPN's Jenna Laine. That bodes well for the knee he hyperextended in the 2nd preseason game. Laine also reported, however, that Jones has "had some busts" in blitz pickups and still needs route-running work. Jones has followed a mildly buzzy spring with a lackluster summer and seems set as the #2 guy in the backfield. He also could face a challenge from Dare Ogunbowale, who has generated his own slight buzz lately -- including positive reviews of his receiving skills. Overall, this looks like a backfield to try to avoid for fantasy football.

Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones sat out practice Monday. Afterward, HC Bruce Arians told reporters (according to Pewter Report): "Ronald's knee swelled up a bit, so we're trying to take it day by day with him." Sounds like Arians isn't overly concerned, but we'll keep an eye on the situation. A healthy Jones hasn't made for all that exciting a fantasy football draft option, though.

Bucs QB Jameis Winston said Tuesday that RB Ronald Jones has been "showing out" in OTAs. "I think it’s just his confidence and his comfort," Winston continued. "RoJo is a smart guy and he’s getting comfortable in this offense. No one is breathing down his neck, he’s more relaxed and he’s out there executing at a high level and you can really see what he can add to this team. I know how talented he is, that’s why he was a second-round pick." Jones had a brutal rookie season. But the Bucs made no significant additions to the backfield this offseason. And there's been a steady stream of positive buzz on Jones this spring. He's starting to look like an intriguing target in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts.

Bucs GM Jason Licht singled out RB Ronald Jones as the player who's most impressed the coaching staff this offseason. "His attitude, his willingness to do extra," Licht continued. "You can just see the confidence rising in him." Jones is coming off a brutal rookie campaign that saw him fail to pass Peyton Barber on the depth chart and average just 1.9 yards on 23 carries. Licht might be simply covering his butt after spending a 2nd-round pick on Jones last year. But it's also too soon to write off a guy who turns just 22 in August. Jones still has every chance to win Tampa's starting job in 2019.

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