Bucs benched Ronald Jones for pass protection mistake

Josh Alper

The Buccaneers named Ronald Jones their starting running back earlier this month, but he spent the majority of the second half of Sunday’s win over the Jaguars on the bench.

Jameis Winston fumbled in the third quarter after being sacked by Jaguars cornerback DJ Hayden, who was running free because Jones went to the wrong side in pass protection. That was Jones’s final play and head coach Bruce Arians said the blocking mistake was the reason why he went to the bench after the game.

On Monday, Arians expanded on what went wrong.

“That was a fumble. We had the game in-hand,” Arians said, via ESPN.com. “It was something that had been switched. We were gonna block something because of their blitzes. He went to block the guy he used to block. That wasn’t the plan.”

Arians said the Bucs need Jones running the football, but “you can’t run the football if you can’t protect the quarterback.” The 2018 second-round pick has 482 rushing yards and 218 receiving yards this season.

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