Opening day stunner: second-round pick Ronald Jones inactive vs. Saints

MONICA HERNDON   |   TimesRunning back Ronald Jones II (22) talks to the press during Buccaneers rookie minicamp on May 11, 2018 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice facility in Tampa, Fla.
MONICA HERNDON | TimesRunning back Ronald Jones II (22) talks to the press during Buccaneers rookie minicamp on May 11, 2018 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice facility in Tampa, Fla.
Published September 9 2018
Updated September 9 2018

The Bucs used a second-round pick on Southern Cal running back Ronald Jones, hoping he would bring explosive plays in the running and passing game.

But Jones won't be given a chance to play in today's season opener against the Saints.

The Bucs rookie is among the list of inactive players. Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers and undrafted rookie Shaun Wilson will be the running backs for Tampa Bay.

Wilson also serves as the Bucs' kickoff returner while Jones is not a major contributor on special teams.

Jones had a difficult preseason, gaining 22 yards on 28 carries, a 0.79 average. But he ran behind the second and third team offensive line. His longest rushing attempt was five yards.

Coach Dirk Koetter defended Jones' lack of production after the final preseason game.

"Again, when you have bad running plays, rarely is it one guy's fault," Koetter said. "I know from Ronald's standpoint, it's not at all from lack of effort, or from him not knowing what he's doing."

But with all injuries in the secondary, the Bucs had to look for an position  they could borrow from.

Cornerback Brent Grimes strained his groin late in the week and did not travel to New Orleans. The Bucs signed cornerback Javien Elliott from the practice squad Saturday and placed cornerback De'Vante Harris on injured reserve. Elliott is among nine defensive backs active today.

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