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Bruce Arians: Buccaneers have no interest in trading Ronald Jones 

Bruce Arians has no interest in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers trading running back Ronald Jones.

As the Nov. 2 trade deadline approaches, speculation has arisen that the Bucs could part with Jones, who has become an afterthought in the backfield.

Asked about the possibility of trading a running back, Arians dismissed the notion.

"No, not at all," he said, per the team's official transcript. "It's a long season, and just that scenario that happened last year, and still with COVID -- you can't have enough good players."

Jones rushed for 978 yards and seven TDs last season in 14 games but missed the final two tilts of the regular season after testing positive for COVID-19. He then injured his quad warming up before the start of the Bucs' wild-card win over Washington.

Since then, Leonard Fournette has become the workhorse.

Through six weeks, Lombardi Lenny has taken 249 offensive snaps (60.3%), while Jones has been relegated to just 76 (18.4%). Even Giovani Bernard (82 snaps) has surpassed Jones' participation level. Fournette has generated 60-plus rush yards and 40-plus receiving yards in each of his last three games -- the longest active streak in the NFL and two short of the longest streak in franchise history (James Wilder had five straight such games in 1984). Fournette has averaged 125.3 scrimmage YPG in the last three tilts.

The performances -- particularly his pass-catching improvement -- have earned Tom Brady's trust.

"He's fit in, he's found his niche," Arians said of Fournette. "When RoJo got hurt he took over, and he's not looking back. It's hard for RoJo to get back out there unless he gets hurt. It's nice to have both of them, that's for sure, but he's playing really, really well."

Jones seemingly only sees the field now when Fournette needs a breather. Given the lack of snaps for a former starter, it's not a surprise that teams would wonder if they might pry the USC product out of Tampa.

But if Arians has his way, Jones will be an insurance policy for a Bucs team with its eyes on back-to-back Lombardi Trophies.

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