The Redskins aren’t losing trust in rookie running back Matt Jones after his league-high fourth lost fumble in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers, but they know it’s a situation that needs to be addressed.
“He wants every play to be a touchdown, and you love that competitive fire about him,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. “We just have to continue to teach him how to secure the ball and the importance of that ball. It is an issue. You can’t turn the ball over if you are a running back no matter how big you are or how little you are, you have to protect the football. We are not going to give up on Matt, but he has to understand the importance of that ball.”
The fumble against the Panthers occurred in the middle of the second quarter when the game was still a competitive battle, as the Redskins were trailing just 21-14 when Jones, running to the left, had the ball stripped from his possession by Luke Kuechley, who would also recover the ball.
The Panthers would go on to score a touchdown six plays later.
Of his four lost fumbles this year, three of them have been non-contact situations, an easily correctable facet of his game the story said. With Alfred Morris dealing with a rib issues, the Skins many not have a choice but to keep trusting Jones. Washington hosts the Giants in an early game on Sunday in Week 12.