Bruce Arians noted that Jameis Winston completed at least one pass to every eligible receiver who suited up in Sunday’s win over the Lions, and Arians said Winston will have to keep making use of the running backs in the passing game.
“I think we’re doing a really good job of finding backs underneath stuff now, not just forcing it down the field – when it’s there take it,” said Arians. “If not, the backs are very capable of making a lot of yards for you. That’s something we have to really look into, who’s available, what to do in this game plan on a short week.”
Barber, Jones and Ogunbowale could all see more looks over the final two weeks with WRs Mike Evans, Scotty Miller and Chris Godwin all hurt and likely out (In Miller's case, he's on IR). Ogunbowale has been the main third down and passing down back, but Jones likely benefits the most from this and becomes the safest play of the three.
The tweet added the Jones would step in and they'd go with the hot hand from there. Jones was the better back in Week 1, but Barber still saw the most time. Eventually, this seems like it will end up Jones' job. Ogunbowale was said to be the team's best back this summer, so keep an eye out for him as well, especially on passing downs.
When asked about Dare Ogunbowale's chance of being the lead back, beat reporter Rick Stroud answered, "Right now I think he’s winning the job as their third down back. Time will tell if he moves higher than that but he’s done a good job as a pass protector and route runn(er) and (has) run the ball inside and near the goal line well."
The Buccaneer's running back situation isn't good, but Dare Ogunbowale's possible job as a third-down back could be the best job in Bruce Arian's offense, especially if Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones continue to jockey for lead-back duties. While coaching the Cardinals from 2013 to 2017, they ranked 10th in running back targets. So there should be opportunity for Ogunbowale even if he doesn't earn more work, but there is room for him to do so.
The story went on to say Jones has looked like the better runner but has struggled in pass protection. Meanwhile, Ogunbowale has looked like the team's best back, according to the story. Ellington could also get some work, and overall, this RB situation may need some time to sort itself out.