Ronald Jones’s contract year gets off to a rough start

USA TODAY Sports

With Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette, and Gio Bernard, the Buccaneers have a crowded house at running back. It got a little less crowded on Thursday night.

Jones participated in only six snaps on Thursday night. He exited after fumbling, and he didn’t return.

It doesn’t bode well for Jones, a 2018 second-rounder who enters the final year of his rookie contract. The fact that he ended up on the end of the bench may have contributed to the decision to not give him a shot at redemption.

The outcome was far different from what we saw four years ago on opening night, when then rookie Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt fumbled his first snap and then rebounded with more than 200 yards from scrimmage in an upset of Tom Brady and the Patriots. Jones simply never got the chance to reverse his blunder.

It will take plenty for coach Bruce Arians and Brady to get Jones back in the right mindset after a disastrous opening night. Jones finished with four carries for 14 yards. Leonard Fournette added 59 yards from scrimmage on 42 snaps. Bernard got 17 snaps.