Vaughn has impressed head coach Bruce Arians during his time in Tampa, but the second-year running back's chances of seeing increased playing time in 2021 could hinge largely on his improvement on special teams, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports. "Ke'Shawn's made a nice move but he has to be a better special teams players right now because of what's in front of him," said Arians. "But I have all the confidence in the world in him as a runner and a receiver."
Analysis: "What in front of him", as Arians puts it, are what are arguably a pair of No. 1 backs in Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette, which admittedly leaves Vaughn's playing time prospects murky at best. The Vanderbilt product logged just 31 touches (26 rushing, five receiving) during his rookie campaign, recording a touchdown through the air and averaging a solid 4.2 yards per carry. Vaughn logged just 37 special-teams snaps and was a healthy scratch for six regular-season games and the final three postseason contests, but it appears he could certainly have a chance of increasing his overall profile in the offense with a strong training camp and preseason.
Jun 21, 2021 1:16 PM EST
Coach Bruce Arians said he expects Vaughn to have a "breakout year" in 2021, Taylor Jenkins of Pewter Report reports.
Analysis: Arians wouldn't rule out drafting a running back, but he did suggest he has confidence in each of Vaughn, Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones. While Fournette's performance in the playoffs makes him a clear favorite for the lead role heading into Week 1, it sounds like the Bucs could make an effort to involve Vaughn in their offense this season. The 2020 third-round pick barely played as a rookie, taking 31 touches for 143 yards and a TD in 10 games.
Mar 31, 2021 7:55 AM EST
Vaughn, who was a healthy scratch for Sunday's Super Bowl LV win over the Chiefs, finished his rookie season with 26 carries for 109 yards and five receptions (10 targets) for 34 yards and a touchdown over 10 games. He also lost a fumble.
Analysis: The rookie approached his first pro training camp with hopes of pushing Ronald Jones for playing time, but the subsequent signings of LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette largely derailed those plans. Vaughn ultimately logged 99 snaps from scrimmage and an additional 37 on special teams, so he did have a chance to get some valuable reps under his belt despite the crowded running back room. With McCoy unlikely to return in 2021 and Fournette likely having earned himself a fairly robust payday on the open market with his strong four-game postseason run, Vaughn may have an exponentially busier sophomore campaign while competing alongside Jones.
Feb 9, 2021 4:53 PM EST
Vaughn (coach's decision) is listed as inactive for Sunday's Super Bowl LV versus the Chiefs, Scott Smith of the Buccaneers' official site reports.
Analysis: With Vaughn sidelined, the Buccaneers instead will roll with Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones at running back, while LeSean McCoy is available in case he's needed out of the backfield.
Feb 7, 2021 2:12 PM EST
Vaughn (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's divisional-round contest at New Orleans.
Analysis: In the Buccaneers' wild-card win at Washington, Vaughn received double-digit offensive snaps (12) for the sixth time in 11 appearances this season, which translated to five carries for 21 yards. The elevated snap count coincided with an active Ronald Jones not taking the field due to a quad injury suffered during pregame warmups. With Jones back in the lineup this weekend, Vaughn will be a healthy scratch while Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy join Jones as the Tampa Bay's available running backs.
Jan 17, 2021 2:33 PM EST
Vaugh rushed five times for 21 yards and failed to bring in his only target during the Buccaneers' 31-23 wild-card win over Washington on Saturday night. He also lost a fumble.
Analysis: The rookie got more action than he bargained for as Leonard Fournette's backup once Ronald Jones hurt his quadriceps in pregame warmups. Vaughn's third-quarter fumble proved costly, as it came on Washington's 38-yard line and led to a touchdown to brought them within two of the Buccaneers. If Jones is forced to sit out another contest, Vaughn could be in for another run as the complementary back in next Sunday's divisional-round matchup against the Saints, although coach Bruce Arians could also opt for a veteran presence in LeSean McCoy, who missed Saturday's game with an illness.
Jan 10, 2021 6:23 PM EST
Vaughn rushed 15 times for 62 yards and secured one of two targets for seven yards in the Buccaneers' 47-7 win over the Lions on Saturday.
Analysis: The rookie turned a career-high number of carries into a new personal best in rushing yardage, with the combination of the absence of Ronald Jones (finger/reserve/COVID-19) and a blowout win affording him an unprecedented amount of opportunity. Vaughn often looked quick and decisive with the ball in his hand. although the caliber and motivation level of the competition does have to be taken into account. Nevertheless, with the Buccaneers now having sewn up a playoff spot, Vaughn could be in for another solid workload in a Week 17 finale versus the Falcons.
Dec 27, 2020 5:43 PM EST
Vaughn rushed twice for four yards, failed to bring in his only target and recovered a Chris Godwin fumble in the Buccaneers' 31-27 win over the Falcons on Sunday.
Analysis: The rookie was slated to spell lead back Leonard Fournette on occasion in Sunday's contest with Ronald Jones out of action due to a finger injury and his reserve/COVID-19 designation. However, with the Buccaneers down 17-0 at halftime, game script turned away from the ground attack for the most part, leaving Vaughn with scant opportunity. Vaughn could be back to an even smaller role or inactive status for a Saturday afternoon matchup against the Lions if Jones is able to return for that contest.
Dec 20, 2020 6:34 PM EST
Vaughn is likely to see an increased role to some degree behind expected starter Leonard Fournette in Sunday's game against the Falcons with Ronald Jones (finger/reserve/COVID-19) expected to sit out the contest.
Analysis: Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports coach Bruce Arians had kind words for the rookie this week, noting he's "come on like gangbusters." However, Fournette and veteran LeSean McCoy certainly have the experience edge on Vaughn, who's logged just nine carries all season and played only four snaps in Week 14 despite garnering active status for the first time in five contests. Along with handling some special-teams duties, Vaughn will most likely spell Fournette occasionally on early downs against Atlanta, considering Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reported earlier in the week McCoy would serve as the third-down back if Jones were unable to suit up.
Dec 20, 2020 6:31 AM EST
Vaugh rushed once for minus-3 yards in the Buccaneers' 26-15 loss to the Vikings on Sunday.
Analysis: In uniform for the first time since Week 8, Vaughn logged just four snaps from scrimmage and matched that number on special teams. As his final line indicates, he was sparingly utilized, despite Leonard Fournette serving as a healthy scratch. Reports Monday indicate Ronald Jones may have suffered a fractured pinkie finger in Sunday's win, but there's a possibility the third-year back's injury doesn't cause him to miss any time and therefore has no tangible benefit for Vaughn.
Dec 14, 2020 5:47 PM EST
Vaughn is listed as active Sunday against the Vikings, Scott Smith of the Buccaneers' official site reports.
Analysis: Available for the first time since Week 8, Vaughn will join LeSean McCoy and Kenjon Barner as reserve running backs after the team decided to make Leonard Fournette a healthy scratch. While Vaughn has averaged 5.8 YPC on eight rushes and hauled in four of seven targets so far as a pro, the rookie third-round pick likely won't do much more than spell starter Ronald Jones on occasion.
Dec 13, 2020 8:51 AM EST
Vaughn (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's Week 12 contest against the Chiefs, Scott Smith of the team's official site reports.
Analysis: The rookie running back continues to lose out on active status to veteran LeSean McCoy, even though the latter is not seeing any work behind Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette. Vaughn's next opportunity for game action will come in Week 14 against the Vikings following the Buccaneers' Week 13 bye.
Nov 29, 2020 12:03 PM EST
Vaughn (coach's decision) is inactive for Monday's game versus the Rams.
Analysis: Vaughn will serve as a healthy scratch for a third straight game. He hasn't recorded a snap on offense since rushing five times for 42 yards in Week 6 against the Packers. The Buccaneers elevated Kenjon Barner from the practice squad to add depth behind Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy.
Nov 23, 2020 3:51 PM EST
Vaughn (coach's decision) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Panthers.
Analysis: With the three veteran running backs ahead of Vaughn on the depth chart (Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy) all healthy again, the Buccaneers won't have room for the rookie in their weekly game plans. Inactive for a second straight game, Vaughn will need an injury to one of the aforementioned three backs before he recaptures even a small role on offense.
Nov 15, 2020 8:50 AM EST
Vaughn (coach's decision) is listed as inactive Sunday against the Saints.
Analysis: Vaughn hasn't got much run this season, with veteran presences like Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy ahead of him on the depth chart. In fact, Vaughn has played exclusively special teams the past two games. With Vaughn in street clothes Sunday, the Buccaneers will roll with the aforementioned trio out of their backfield.
Nov 8, 2020 4:15 PM EST
Vaughn garnered three special-teams snaps but no offensive snaps during Monday's 25-23 win against the Giants.
Analysis: The third-round rookie collected 12 combined touches between Weeks 4 and 6, notching eight rush attempts for 46 yards along with four receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown. With Leonard Fournette back to full strength the past two weeks, however, Vaughn has seen his offensive role evaporate. It's not a favorable Week 9 matchup for Tampa Bay backs going up against New Orleans' No. 3 rush defense, but it's expected to be Ronald Jones and Fournette who command virtually all of the RB workload in a crucial NFC South bout.
Nov 3, 2020 5:11 PM EST
Vaughn did not play a single offensive snap during Sunday's 45-20 win against Las Vegas.
Analysis: With Leonard Fournette fielding 11 carries behind Ronald Jones' team high of 13, the rookie back was afforded no offensive opportunities during Week 7. Vaughn racked up 42 rushing yards on five carries against Green Bay during a Week 6 rout, but with both veteran backs healthy against Las Vegas, the Vanderbilt product was limited to special-teams usage only. Unless Tampa Bay's Week 8 road trip to face the Giants becomes a one-sided affair, Vaughn will likely be relegated to an obsolete role in the offense.
Oct 27, 2020 3:59 PM EST
Vaugh rushed five times for 42 yards and failed to bring in his only target in the Buccaneers' 38-10 win over the Packers on Sunday.
Analysis: With the contest well in hand by the latter part of the fourth quarter, coach Bruce Arians went heavy on reserves and gave Vaughn some run to finish off the rout. The rookie impressed with a 19-yard scamper and was efficient by gaining 23 yards on his four other carries as well. Vaughn's usage is sporadic, as he logged the first three carries of his career two games ago, failed to log any rush attempts but saw three targets in Week 5 and then bounced back with his highest number of rushing touches yet Sunday. The encouraging performance in the waning minutes against the Packers aside, fantasy managers should be mindful that a Leonard Fournette (ankle) return in a Week 7 road battle versus the Raiders would likely send Vaughn back to a minuscule role.
Oct 18, 2020 8:37 PM EST
Vaughn (chest) is not listed on Wednesday's injury report.
Analysis: Vaughn was forced out of last Thursday's loss to the Bears due to a chest injury, but he already looks back to full health. However, both Leonard Fournette (ankle) and LeSean McCoy (ankle) resumed practicing in a limited capacity Wednesday, so Vaughn could end up back in a depth role Week 6 in spite of his full availability.
Oct 14, 2020 2:46 PM EST
Vaughn (chest) finished Thursday night's 20-19 loss to the Bears with zero carries and two receptions (three targets) for five yards. He also lost a fumble.
Analysis: Vaughn exited the game after getting injured on a play in which he fumbled at his own 26-yard-line following a short catch with 1:37 remaining. The Bears went on to score on a 12-yard grab by Jimmy Graham with 36 seconds remaining, and Vaughn remained out of action the rest of the night. The rookie should have his status updated in coming days, with the Buccaneers having some extra time before a Week 6 matchup against the Packers on Sunday, Oct. 18.
Oct 8, 2020 9:30 PM EST
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