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Buccaneers almost cut this key player near end of regular season, Bruce Arians says

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette proved to be a key addition to the team back in August before the regular season even began. After his release from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Fournette was immediately scooped up by the Bucs and they expected him to be featured alongside Ronald Jones in the backfield.

However, things didn’t go so smooth for Fournette and the Buccaneers initially. Prior to their Week 14 matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, Fournette was made inactive after he voiced his displeasure with his role on the team.

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Following the game against the Vikings, Fournette had a sit-down conversation with head coach Bruce Arians

“I said, ‘This is your situation. It can change at the drop of a hat,'” Arians told the Tampa Bay Times. “But this is your situation. Either embrace it, or you say, ‘Cut me.’ I said, ‘What do you want? Because this is a very special team that you’re part of. I think you’ve got a feeling of that. Just see if you can hang in there to see what happens.’ And he did, and I’m really proud of him

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After his meeting with Arians, Fournette’s opportunity came when Jones was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

During the Bucs’ incredible Super Bowl playoff run, Fournette piled up 448 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns. In Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs, Fournette had 89 rushing yards with one touchdown and four receptions for 46 receiving yards in the Bucs’ 31-9 win.

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Fournette, who enters the offseason as a free agent, is expected to return to the Buccaneers next season.

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