Getty The Buccaneers signed former Seahawks running back C.J. Prosise.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added more depth at running back just in time for the playoffs as the team signed longtime Seahawks rusher C.J. Prosise. Most recently, Prosise played in 10 games this season for the Texans but received limited carries notching 19 rushing yards along with five receptions for 18 yards and a touchdown. The Bucs had been without a running back on their practice squad since promoting Kenjon Barner in early-December, per Buccaneers.com.
Prosise played his first three seasons with the Seahawks but struggled to stay healthy throughout his NFL career as this season marked the only time in four years he played in double-digit games. The running back’s rookie season was the best of his career posting 17 receptions for 208 yards along with 30 carries for 172 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was consistently high on Prosise as the team selected him in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft coming out of Notre Dame. Early last season, Carroll described Prosise as a “really unique talent.”
“Over the years, we’ve thrown him the football and worked him out of the backfield,” Carroll noted in September 2019, per USA Today. “All of the mainline run stuff in the offense he can do and he’s a pass protector too. He can hold up the pass protections, 227 pounds. He’s really a unique talent.”
The Buccaneers Have a Deep Running Back Group Heading into the Postseason
As Prosise’s practice squad status suggests, the running back is more of a luxury for the Bucs than a necessity. The Buccaneers’ top back Ronald Jones returned from being on the COVID list in Week 17 and will pair him with Leonard Fournette during their postseason run. Tampa Bay also has LeSean McCoy and rookie Ke’Shawn Vaughn to provide depth. Prior to the Buccaneers’ win over the Falcons, Arians noted Jones looks to be back at full strength indicating he can be the team’s lead back.
“He can handle it,” Arians said, per Sports Illustrated. “He’s in great shape and he didn’t really have any trouble with the [cardio] work up after the COVID test. He’s in good, good shape and ready to roll.”
During the Season, Arians Emphasized That the Team Wants to Get Jones 20 Touches Each Game
Back in November, Arians indicated Jones needs to have “20 touches” a game. After spending his first two seasons battling for carries, Jones appears to have solidified his role as the Buccaneers RB1. Jones admitted that Arians’ public support of him has helped his play on the field
“It definitely means a lot,” Jones noted in December 2020, per Pro Football Talk. “Again, as a player, all you can do is ask for the opportunity. They’ve given it to me and I’ve just got to make the most of it. Take it and run with it — literally — so that’s what I’ve been doing.”
The Buccaneers square off with a Washington defense that has a stout defensive line headlined by star pass rusher Chase Young. Washington ranks No. 14 in the NFL in rushing yards allowed at 112.8 per game.
“He’s a helluva player,” Arians noted in his weekly press conference. “Obviously, making him a captain as a rookie speaks volumes. Both of those kids from Ohio State, he and [Terry] McLaurin are great kids. …We’ll have our hands full, but it’s one of those games where you better watch what you wish for.”
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