Jones ready to step up? | Shark Bites | Draft Sharks

Buccaneers GM Jason Licht praised RB Ronald Jones this week, saying he and the staff "have more faith in him now than we ever have," according to the team website. "We do think Ronald hasn't even scratched the surface of what he can be," Licht said. "He made a huge jump from year one to year two. He didn't have to do much to do that because year (one) wasn't very good for him. But year two, we felt very good about where he came, and we think he still has a tremendous amount of upside." Licht added that "some of the better teams" feature multiple RBs that they can "rely on in different roles." So even if the GM is being totally honest about their Jones assessment, don't be surprised to see Tampa bring in another significant RB or 2. At the moment, Jones looks like the easy favorite to lead the Buccaneers' backfield. But we'll see what the group looks like by the end of summer.

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Bucs HC Bruce Arians called Ronald Jones the "main guy" in his backfield. "He’ll carry the load," Arians added. He went on to say that Ke'Shawn Vaughn, LeSean McCoy and Dare Ogunbowale are "fighting for roles." After flopping as a rookie, Jones turned in a much better sophomore season. And we've heard nothing but positivity surrounding him this offseason. Even if he can capture two-thirds of this backfield work, he'll boast exciting fantasy upside in what should be a high-scoring Bucs offense. Jones continues to climb our RB rankings.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones added another 7 pounds this offseason, according to trainer Luke Neal. He's now tipping the scales at 225 pounds -- up from 218 last year and 206 when he entered the league as a rookie. "If you can believe this, he's more explosive right now than he was last year," Neal said. Jones handled the added weight well last season, averaging 4.2 yards per carry, 10.0 yards per catch and ranking 16th among 45 qualifying RBs in Pro Football Focus' Elusive Rating. He's a breakout candidate in 2020 if he can hold off rookie Ke'Shawn Vaughn for the starting job in Tom Brady's Bucs offense.

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.

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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