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Buccaneers QB Winston diagnosed with right AC joint sprain

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire

TAMPA – There’s a good chance Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will be able to make good on the vow he made late Sunday to play in the Bucs game this week at Buffalo.

An MRI performed on Monday revealed that the right shoulder injury Winston suffered against the Cardinals is an AC joint sprain that he could play through if he can tolerate the pain.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network had the story first, citing an unnamed source. Bucs officials did not immediate confirm the report.

Winston went down with the injury at the end of the Bucs first offensive drive of the game when he right throwing shoulder was slammed into the ground by a hit from defensive end Chandler Jones.

Winston came up from the ground holding his arm limp at the side but he threw a few passes on the sideline and returned to the game for two more series before calling it quits for the day.

Winston later said the pain was too much for him to continue but it is believed that the pain will subside with rest and that Winston could be back in the lineup again as soon as Sunday.

Winston strongly suggested he would play the Bucs next game late Sunday when he said he didn’t think the injury was bad enough that he would be forced to miss a start.

 “I’ve come out (of games before). But I don’t think I ever missed a game (because of an injury) and I don’t think I’m going to miss a game (this time) either,’’ he said.

Winston said that while his right throwing arm continued to hang rather limp at his side, but his right shoulder did not have any ice on it nor did it appear to be wrapped in any way.

That shoulder also came out clean when doctors took X-rays of it on Sunday, but the Bucs had Winston undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the true severity of the problem.

Winston would not be the first quarterback to play through such an injury. The Jaguars Blake Bortles suffered a Grade 1 AC joint sprain in  a game against the Bucs in 2015 but never missed a start.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger played through the pain of an AC joint sprain as well during a playoff victory over the Bengals in 2016.

Roethlisberger briefly left that game but he returned and despite being in obvious pain and led the Steelers to an 18-16 triumph.

Sources told Florida Football Insiders on Sunday that, similarly, Winston could have re-entered the game against the Cardinals if the need arose.

The Bucs held Winston out partly as a precaution but were prepared to put him back in backup Ryan Fitzpatrick had been knocked out of the game.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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