Greg Schiano just confirmed Bucs fans' worst fears: running back Mike James is done for the year. James suffered an ankle fracture against the Miami Dolphins yesterday, which was initially reported by Ian Rapoport. The sixth-round draft pick had become the Bucs' featured running back after Doug Martin was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. James managed 295 yards on 60 carries in three games as a starter.
With James out, Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey will take over as the main running backs. Leonard has been the team's main third-down back throughout the season, while Rainey got his first carries against the Dolphins. You're likely to see a fairly balanced mix between the two, with Rainey probably getting a little more work on the ground. The Bucs are also expected to add a third back as further insurance.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven't exactly been lucky with their running game this year, but they did manage to get it on track the past two weeks after inserting Jamon Meredith at left guard and changing their scheme to take advantage of the offensive line's strengths. There didn't appear to be a big drop-off from Mike James to Brian Leonard and Bobby Rainey, so we should continue to see a solid running game the rest of this season.