The New Orleans Saints know who their starting running back will be but another running back stole the show during the team’s preseason opener vs. the Ravens. That running back was Tony Jones Jr., who put on a clinic in Baltimore, rushing for 82 yards and a touchdown off of seven carries while also hauling in five catches for 38 yards.
Entering the season, the Saints had a pretty good idea as to what their running back depth chart was going to look like. Alvin Kamara is the starter (and that’s still the case) with Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman as the backup and third-string.
Jones has thrown his hat into the ring as far as making the roster with Saturday’s performance though. He did his best Kamara impression, getting it done not just on the ground but through the air as a pass-catcher as well.
Jones was the bright spot on the entire offensive side of the ball despite his fumble (which was one of six turnovers for New Orleans on Saturday) and now he has a good shot to make the team if he continues to show up in the same wat he did this weekend.
Murray and Freeman might both be more experienced but there’s no guarantee that they’ll make the roster. Freeman is a newcomer, having just joined the team a few weeks ago and there were rumblings about Murray’s role with this team during the offseason. Jones is certainly going to make things interesting and that could light a fire under both of those guys.
Tony Jones Jr. impressed in the Saints’ preseason opener
It’s only one game but Jones definitely made it onto not only the Saints’ radar but other teams as well. If the Saints don’t keep Jones on their final roster, he won’t be left teamless for long, as another team won’t hesitate to scoop him up and have him serve as depth on the roster.
The Saints shouldn’t just hand the backup and third-string jobs to Murray and Freeman, especially if Jones continues to play as well as he did on Saturday. He has two more games to prove that Saturday’s performance wasn’t a fluke.