The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have placed starting running back Ronald Jones II on the team's reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday afternoon. This comes after the entire starting special teams unit - kicker Ryan Succop, punter Bradley Pinion, and long snapper Zach Triner - ended up on the COVID-19 list on Tuesday.
The list serves as a roster designation for players who either test positive for COVID-19 or come in close contact with someone who tested positive, determined by contact tracing. This does not necessarily mean Jones, Succop, Pinion, or Triner have COVID-19.
“We’ll wait and see on Ro. It’s more of a, ‘Can he protect himself?’ The procedure went well – it’s whether or not he can use that hand to protect himself," Arians said on Wednesday, a few hours before Jones was placed on the COVID-19 list. "Leonard [Fournette] will step back into [the starting running back] spot" if Jones can't play, he added.
Jones has compiled 900 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 180 attempts this season.
Arians acknowledged that the special teamers continue to go through the NFL's COVID-19 testing and contact tracing protocol and that the Buccaneers are bringing in potential replacements, including former Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers punter Dustin Colquitt, among others.
"We're going to have a bunch of kickers, snappers and punters on our team – possibly by Friday or Saturday," said Arians. "We're just waiting to see how it plays out. Knock on wood [that] the other guys will come back clean. We might still keep all those other guys around just in case. Can't have enough of them anymore – that's for sure."