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With Chris Thompson Doubtful, Matt Jones Could Play More

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Having not practiced all week with a back injury, Chris Thompson is doubtful for tomorrow's game against the Buccaneers. Matt Jones could be used in his place on third downs.

For the second time in as many weeks, the Washington Redskins could be without one-third of their running backs corps.

Last week, Matt Jones did not play against the New York Jets with a toe injury. This week, Chris Thompson is listed as doubtful due to a back injury he suffered during the Jets game.

Jones, of course, has been alternating the bulk of carries this season with Alfred Morris on first and second downs.

Thompson, meanwhile, has played the third-down back role well, being a nice complimentary receiving threat out of the backfield for quarterback Kirk Cousins.

If the Florida State product cannot go against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jones could slide into Thompson's role on third downs, according to offensive coordinator Sean McVay.

"If it's a situation where Chris isn't able to go, we do have confidence, because Matt's a guy that coming out the back field, he's a little bit different type of player than Chris," McVay said. "But, he does have natural hands where you can use him as a legitimate option in the passing game. When he's had his chances to catch the football, I think he's done a nice job this year in our screen game and in some of our play action as a check down back. If that's the case then we feel very good about him as a third-down option."

Jones – a full participant in practices this week – said on Friday that he's ready to get back out on the field.

On the season, the University of Florida product has already tallied three rushing touchdowns along with 220 rushing yards.

"If I wasn't ready, I wouldn't be out there," Jones said. "I'm ready to go. So whatever role I can play, I'm cool with that."

As for Thompson, the Redskins are ensuring that he gets the right amount of rest and recovery before returning to the field.

He said earlier in the week that his back was "getting better every day," but he wasn't a participant in practices, instead getting rehab work in on the side.

"His back has still got some swelling to it and that's a concern," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said. "He is a tough kid, man, to finish that game like he did last week against the Jets shows what kind of toughness that he has, but I don't know if I want to put him in a situation with that much pain."

As for Morris, the hope is to get him going again. He has yet to record a touchdown this season, and he's only gotten 42 carries the last four weeks.

"Alfred is working extremely hard," Gruden said. "He always has, always will. I think the more carries he gets, the better he'll be."

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