Rodgers rushed five times for 13 yards and brought in all three of his targets for 23 yards in the Buccaneers' 27-21 win over the Eagles on Sunday. Although the passing game once again took center stage, Rodgers actually saw a slight boost in rushing attempts while also turning in an effective performance as an outlet receiver out of the backfield. Second-round pick Ronald Jones II was inactive for a second straight game to open his career Sunday, but Rodgers could retain active status on gameday even when Jones begins to suit up.
Rodgers carried twice for one yard and hauled in his only target for two yards in the Buccaneers' 48-40 win over the Saints on Sunday. Although he was technically listed as the No. 2 running back behind Peyton Barber, Rodgers saw a scant workload over his 15 snaps. Game flow may have played a large part in Rodgers' minimal usage, as the passing game took center stage in the high-scoring affair. While Rodgers figures to see a bump in opportunity in subsequent games, that could certainly be affected by the status of second-round pick Ronald Jones II, who was inactive to open his pro career Sunday.
Rodgers is listed as the second running back ahead of second-round pick Ronald Jones II on the initial version of the Buccaneers' regular-season depth chart, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The veteran has seen his fortunes improve significantly since late last month after his roster spot appeared far from guaranteed in the early part of preseason. The first domino to fall was backfield mate Charles Sims' season-ending knee injury, which created an opening for a pass-catching back. That's a description that dovetails well with Rodgers' skill set, but the fact he's also now slotted in ahead of Jones to open the season is particularly noteworthy. Rodgers carried out a traditional running-back role on multiple occasions in 2016 while filling in for the since-departed Doug Martin, even logging 56 carries over a two-game period at one point. Therefore, his No. 2 designation appears legitimate, with Rodgers seemingly in line for a modest, yet steady workload behind starter Peyton Barber that should include more than just short-yardage targets out of the backfield.
Rodgers is one of the leading candidates to help the Buccaneers replace Charles Sims (knee), who was placed on injured reserve Thursday, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. Rodgers' chances of securing a spot on the 53-man roster naturally went up with the upcoming season-long absence of one of his main competitors for a backup running back job. Moreover, Rodgers' skill set and experience also likely make him the first man up in terms of directly filling Sims' role, which was primarily that of a pass-catching back. He hasn't had much of a chance to show it during his first two seasons in Tampa, but Rodgers was one of the better pass-catching backs in the league during the 2012 and 2013 campaigns in Atlanta, compiling a total of 105 receptions and logging a trio of receiving touchdowns over that span. He also has the ability to mix in on early downs as a rusher and is arguably a more instinctive runner than Sims, so Rodgers could be in for a solid workload when factoring in multiple roles.
Rodgers is part of a Tampa Bay backfield that added Ronald Jones with the 38th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, NFL.com's Herbie Teope reports. The Bucs released Doug Martin in February, but they re-signed pass-catching specialist Charles Sims last week, shortly before adding an element of explosiveness with Jones. The team also brings back Peyton Barber, who closed out the 2017 season with five straight performances featuring at least 12 carries, 51 rushing yards and 3.9 yards per carry. Rodgers had only six touches on offense in that same stretch, getting most of his snaps on special teams. He may need to compete for a spot during training camp and probably won't have a major role on offense even if he cracks the 53-man roster again.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|11||11/18||@New York Giants||7||13.33|
|12||11/25||San Francisco 49ers||15||15.33|
|14||12/09||New Orleans Saints||4||11.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||69||282||1||8||61||0||40|