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Buccaneers QB Winston vows to play again next Sunday

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire

GLENDALE, AZ. – Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston can’t remember a time when he’s missed a football game because of an injury and he says he doesn’t intend to miss one now.

 “I’ll be back,’’ Winston said emphatically late Sunday when he was asked about the condition of the sore right how the sore right shoulder that knocked him out of the Bucs 38-33 loss to the Cardinals.

How soon?

“Soon,’’ Winston said.

By Sunday? Can you play next Sunday?

 “Yep,’’ Winston added. “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.’’

Winston said all this while his right throwing arm hung rather limp at his side in much the same way it did after his shoulder got slammed to the turf by a Chandler Jones hit early in the first quarter.

Before giving way to Ryan Fitzpatrick, Winton returned to play two more series before he was pulled from the game, but his right shoulder did not have any ice on it nor did it appear to be wrapped in any way after the game.

That shoulder also came out clean when doctors took X-rays of it on Sunday, but Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Winston will have an MRI today to determine the true severity of the damage.

That MRI will ultimately determine just how soon Winston can and will return to action and it’s possible that despite Winston’s optimism, he could miss a game or two or three.

Remember, Bucs linebackers Kwon Alexander and Lavonte David both expressed similar optimism about playing the next week after they suffered their respective injuries earlier this year.

Alexander, however, still has not returned from the hamstring strain that knocked him out of the season opener and David just came back on Sunday after missing two games with a left ankle sprain.

The good news for Winston, if you can call it that, is that he was only dealing with what he described as pain in the shoulder, which is something of a good sign.

That suggests that he’s not suffering from the kind of discomfort that often accompanies a more serious injury to the shoulder joint and that he may just be dealing with a bad bruise.

 “Yeah, I don’t know what it is,’’ Winston said when asked about the nature of the injury, whether it might be a sprain or not. “I’m not concerned at all.

 “It was just pain. That’s the only reason I didn’t come back. That’s the only reason, Just pain. If it had been in my other shoulder it would have been fine but with my throwing shoulder, that’s kind of tough.’’

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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