Why Ronald Jones II Was A Healthy Scratch Vs Saints


The morning before kickoff, versus the Saints, the Bucs released their inactive player list, with one notable player included Ronald Jones II. It left most fans scratching their heads, but when you take a second look, it is quite easy to understand why. Simply put, he just wasn’t ready.

Tampa Bay played three backs against the Saints, (Barber, Rodgers, and Wilson). It isn’t abnormal for the team to keep four backs active, but the Bucs instead opted to add a couple extra DB’s this week. Which looking back, was a wise move with the injuries to Grimes, Hargreaves, and Evans. 

The team’s official stance on Jones’ scratch, is that every week they put the guys on the field that they feel will give them the best chance to win that week. Translation: Jones isn’t playing at the level they would like at the running back position and he doesn’t have added value by playing on special teams. In comparison: RB Shaun Wilson, who had a better camp, does play on special teams as the designated kickoff returner/ running back and as a result, was active for Sunday’s game.

It is evident by the coaching staff and fans everywhere that his transition to the pro’s has not been smooth sailing for a few good reasons. For example: He has a lack of field vision, when it comes to finding holes the line gives him. Outside of one good catch in the pre-season, he hasn’t proven himself to be a reliable pass-catcher out of the backfield. It doesn’t help that he was rarely used as a pass-catcher in college. The good news is that these things are correctable. Even though, a healthy scratch for a 2018 2nd-round draft pick is concerning, Jones will get plenty of chances in the coming weeks to show his development and prove that he should be playing on game day.