The Buccaneers will turn the starting job back over to quarterback Jameis Winston for Sunday’s game against the 49ers, according to Scott Smith of the team website (on Twitter). The move was expected after Winston played well in relief of Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday.
After entering Sunday’s game against the Giants, Winston completed 12 of his 16 passes for 199 yards with two touchdowns and an interception on the final play of the game. Winston led the Bucs to touchdowns on four straight drives, leaving coaches with more confidence in him than in Fitzpatrick, who lobbed three interceptions.
The 3-7 Bucs are likely out of the playoff picture, but these final six games will be crucial to Winston’s future with Tampa Bay. Winston is under club control through the 2019 campaign via the fifth-year option, but the option is guaranteed for injury only and the Bucs can escape the hefty $20.9MM price tag if they want to. There’s a risk that Winston falters and suffers a serious injury down the stretch, but head coach Dirk Koetter is on the hot seat and aiming to win now.
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