Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Ex-Gator Matt Jones makes a splash in NFL

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 11: Matt Jones #25 of the Washington Redskins scores a fourth quarter touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on October 11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) 570161871

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 11: Matt Jones #25 of the Washington Redskins scores a fourth quarter touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on October 11, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) 570161871

Former Armwood and Gators running back Matt Jones has already packed a season's worth of ups and downs into his first six weeks in the NFL.

As the rookie prepares for his Redskins to play host to his hometown Bucs, Jones looks to have recovered from a toe injury that sidelined him last week. He'll also have to show he can hold onto the football after losing two of the team's three fumbles this season.

"He's put a couple balls on the ground, but he runs hard, and he's a physical runner," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of the 6-foot-1, 231-pound back. "He's a great complement to (starter) Alfred (Morris). When we're at our best, those two guys are getting their touches."

Jones, a seventh-round draft pick, made a big splash in a Week 2 win against the Rams, rushing for 123 yards and two touchdowns. In three games since, he has mustered only 69 yards on 29 carries, good for an average of 2.4 yards per carry.

Morris, too, has struggled, rushing for just 36 yards on 19 carries in the last two weeks, but getting tackle Trent Williams back from a concussion should help the Redskins' ground game. The Bucs already have a respect for Jones and the challenge of stopping him once he gets momentum.

"He's coming downhill, so you better bring it when he's got the ball in his hands," Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said.

Ex-Gator Matt Jones makes a splash in NFL 10/24/15 [Last modified: Friday, October 23, 2015 7:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Road to Atlanta: Tell us how you really feel, Jimbo

    College

    Topped out

    TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 21:  Rashaan Evans #32 of the Alabama Crimson Tide tackles Jarrett Guarantano #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) 775042495
  2. Journal: USF gets support on the road

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — Perhaps it was the chance to witness the first USF-Tulane game ever, or an opportunity to frolic in the French Quarter for a weekend. Or both.

    USF running back D'Ernest Johnson (2) stiff-arms Tulane cornerback Parry Nickerson (17) on a run during the second half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH111
  3. Joey Knight's takeaways from USF-Tulane

    College

    1. Saturday's triumph will do little to fortify USF's strength of schedule, but its strength-of-character quotient might have increased. On the road facing an eclectic offense, the Bulls built a huge lead, then made critical plays in the waning moments after some defensive lapses. In short, they survived. Isn't …

    South Florida defensive end Greg Reaves (41) reacts after a defensive stop against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH107
  4. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  5. Lightning journal: Tighter defense fuels hot start

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — See what happens when you keep the crease clean, limit the traffic in front of G Andrei Vasilevskiy and limit Grade A scoring chances?

    Yanni Gourde, right, gets a late first-period goal that follows a big save by Andrei Vasilevskiy.