Washington Redskins: Matt Jones Was The Answer A Year Ago, But No More

Oct 16, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins running back Matt Jones (31) carries the ball past Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Redskins running back Matt Jones was chosen by head coach Jay Gruden as the one to ‘carry the load”.  Things have changed quite a bit.

Matt Jones, the third-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft was supposed to be the future, the one who would succeed former Redskins running back Alfred Morris. His 2016 stats look great on paper, rushing for 460 yards with three touchdowns. Then came the injuries and fumbles. Just like that, Jones was gone, banished to the bench.

A year later, you don’t hear the name Matt Jones, only Robert Kelley, or “Fat Rob” as he’s affectionately known. Jones, on the other hand, is not even part of the conversation. Jamey Eisenberg of CBS Sports reported that at this year’s NFL Owner’s meeting, Gruden had nothing but good things to say about Kelley:

“Oh man, I love Rob Kelley,” Gruden said. “I thought he played great. You throw a rookie free agent into the fire like that and see the way he played and competes. Not one time did I feel like it was too big for him … I think Rob is going to be a great running back, I really do.”

So what’s the latest update? He’s training with former Redskins running back Ernest Byner. Jones uploaded the following photo to his Instagram page last month:

This season, if he’s still with the team, Matt Jones will have to be flawless. With Kelley still considered the lead back and with the possibility of a running back picked in the NFL Draft, there’s a lot of work ahead of him to stand out in the crowd. Even though I feel his future with the Redskins is coming to a close, there’s always a chance for resurgence. However, he’ll need the opportunity. It may not be with this team.

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