Since his injury, Jameis Winston has not been the same as much as he won’t admit it. The time has come to turn to the back up, to preserve the franchise quarterback for the future.
Since the game against Arizona on October 15th this team has struggled, and Dirk Koetter isn’t the lone person to blame. Neither is Mike Smith if you want to be completely honest with yourself. When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Jameis Winston first overall they knew they were getting a tough player, but that could be his downfall long term. Doctors can tell coaches what they think, but if Jameis is holding back and saying he’s fine when he’s not how are the coaching staff to know any different?
While Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t a “sexy” back up, he’s played well enough when called upon to replace Winston. His stats in the two games of relief aren’t that bad..
30 / 47, 358 Yards, 4 Touchdowns / 2 Interceptions
The brass tax is this, if you play Winston and he gets misses more time than he is on the field, that will affect your team long term.
Right now, the right choice might be to either sit him down or put him on injured reserve. Clearly, Jameis is not healthy, based on the Saints game and his face on the sideline, I’d say he playing at about 50% health.
Last week against Carolina should tell you more on his overall health.
This week he wasn’t much better – prior to his departure.
Buccaneers fans feel as though Winston is the franchise quarterback they’ve always wanted. Play him, risk long term health or sit him and let the guy get healthy. He doesn’t want to come out of games, he won’t admit how bad he is truly feeling.
He is a warrior and a great leader, but sometimes the coach needs to step up and tell a player he is sitting. It’s not a call that will win Koetter any favor with the fans.
At the end of the day though, it’s the right call.
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