Running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn hasn’t gotten many opportunities to run the ball for the Buccaneers since joining the team as a 2020 third-round pick, but he made the most of his chance to step into the backfield in Sunday’s win over the Panthers.
Vaughn saw an uptick in playing time with Leonard Fournette out of the lineup and ran seven times for 70 yards as a complement to starter Ronald Jones in the 32-6 win. The biggest of those runs was a 55-yard touchdown that gave the Buccaneers their first points in the first half of the game
After the win, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians was asked if he thinks Vaughn has a future as the team’s third-down back.
“No, I think he’s a lead back,” Arians said, via Zach Goodall of SI.com. “He has great running skills, excellent jump-cut ability and he’s worked on his hands. His hands are better. He dropped [a pass on Sunday] — it pissed him off — but he has worked on his hands hard. I think he’s a lead dog.”
A lead role may not be in the cards for Vaughn in the near future, but Fournette and Jones aren’t under contract in 2022 and there’s a window for Vaughn to make his case for a bigger piece of the offensive pie down the road.