LANDOVER, Md., Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Matt Jones has a better shot at living up to coach Jay Gruden's belief that he can be Washington's top back next season after undergoing groin surgery.
Jones, 22, is expected to be ready for organized team activities. Coach Gruden told the Washington Post's Mike Jones that Jones "is capable of being a No. 1 back. Jones will be ready OTAs, had minor groin related surgery."
Jones rushed for 490 yards and three touchdowns on 144 carries in his rookie campaign. He also had 19 receptions for 304 yards and a receiving score. Jones' downgrade last season was his lackadaisical ball security, which led to five fumbles.
The University of Florida product was selected No. 95 overall by Washington in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft. Washington could let veteran Alfred Morris walk into free agency, which would leave Jones at the top of the depth chart.
Gruden says Matt Jones is capable of being a No. 1 back. Jones will be ready OTAs, had minor groin related surgery.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) February 24, 2016
ESPN's John Keim said that Jones "flashed signs he could be the guy, but not enough to prevent the Redskins from needing to add serious competition for the top job with Morris unlikely to return."
Keim added that he wouldn't "pencil" Jones into the starting role yet.
Jones signed a four-year, $2.952 million deal in May.