Already without starting running back Leonard Fournette, the Bucs saw two other backs go down with injury in Sunday’s win over the Jets. Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughn both suffered injuries in Week 18. Those maladies thrust newly-signed Le’Veon Bell into the lineup in crunch time. Bell finished with three carries for five yards, but caught three passes for 30 yards too. The veteran back also converted the Bucs’ 2-point conversion try to go up 28-24 with 15 seconds left.

On Monday, head coach Bruce Arians gave an update on the injuries to Jones and Vaughn.

“We’re waiting to see on RoJo’s MRI on his ankle, how severe it is,” Arians said. “I think Ke’Shawn has bruised ribs. Hopefully he’ll be ready to go (this week).”

The Bucs have been decimated with injuries all season, attacking position group after position group. Early in the season it was the defensive backs and wide receivers. Since then, the Bucs have lost both starting edge rushers too. Now a wave of injuries has hit the team’s running backs.

First Start Coming For Bucs RB Vaughn?

However, there is some good news. During Arians weekly spot on Bucs Total Access, he indicated the team might have one rusher back on Sunday versus the Panthers.

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II

Bucs RB Ronald Jones II – Photo by: USA Today

“Still waiting,” Arians said. “RoJo is an ankle sprain. Ke’Shawn is just ribs. It doesn’t look like there is anything broken. So hopefully we’ll have him back next week.”

If Jones is unable to play in the Bucs final game of the season, Vaughn would start. There’s no doubt Arians has confidence in the young back’s ability. After his recent comments on Vaughn as a future lead back, Arians had high praise for the former third rounder after Sunday’s victory.

“Really good,” Arians said. “Really ran the ball well, caught the ball well. This was one of his best ball games. He tripped with one I thought he was going to take to the house. He tripped one time on the turf. He’s getting better and better.”

You can listen to the entire interview here.

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About the Author: J.C. Allen

J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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hamilton
hamilton
5 months ago

Bucs need to give bell a chance.

Eddie
Eddie
Reply to  hamilton
5 months ago

Bell played well. Hope he can stay healthy throughout play off.

fredster
fredster
Reply to  Eddie
5 months ago

He can still catch the ball but I didn’t see any burst from him. He seems quite slow.

RW
RW
Reply to  fredster
5 months ago

Agreed. Bell should be in on 3rd downs to catch and block

Templeton Davis
Templeton Davis
5 months ago

Sigh. This isn’t going to be our year. Hope I’m wrong.

Naplesfan
Naplesfan
Reply to  Templeton Davis
5 months ago

12-4 record heading into the final weekend (equaling best record ever for the Bucs, and the chance to improve on that come Sunday), NFC South Division Champs for the first time since 2007, 2nd ranked scoring offense in the league, even our decimated defense is still 10th ranked in points allowed, and the Bucs are in line for either the #2 seed, or #3 seed at worst?

And this is not our year?

Geesh!

drdneast
drdneast
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 months ago

Have to agree with you. I think some of our injured players are being kept on the shelf until the playoffs so they can be well rested and fresh. At the same time it gives their backups like Anthony Nelson,Cam Gill and Tryon-Shoyinka valuable playing time. The backup DB’s have been getting that all year. Whatever the case, with all the injuries it certainly indicates the Bucs have good depth when you consider their record. I told a freind before the Panthers game if the Bucs won that game with all their injuries it would indicate they had a pretty… Read more »

SenileSenior
SenileSenior
Reply to  drdneast
5 months ago

Good stuff, Naples.

fredster
fredster
Reply to  Naplesfan
5 months ago

Umm you can quote stats all day but Raheem had it right stats are for losers! I wouldn’t count the Bucs out yet, but if you feel strongly it is our year again I want some of what your smoking. Missing so many key players we have no idea if will be back or close to 100%. Our Second ranked Scoring offense numbers were from when we were healthy. They were just shut out against a Saints team at home that isn’t that good. O LINE was beaten badly all game. Then O line is man handled by crappy Jets?

SenileSenior
SenileSenior
Reply to  Templeton Davis
5 months ago

Last year was “our year” for sure … … in retrospect. Last year at the end of the season I would say virtually no one knew what we had going into the playoffs. Only a true Fan-atic “knew” within his or her gut that we would win it all.
The odds are against us this year. We will see who the champion level players and coaches are.
The old football cliche remains true. “That’s why they play the games!”
_____________
Go Bucs!!!