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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs QB Fitzpatrick repeats as NFC Player of the Week

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Sep 16, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a touchdown pass in the first quarter in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The role continues for “Fitzmagic” in Tampa Bay. As for the second straight week, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week, off of yet another 400 yard, four touchdown performance Sunday against the Eagles.

The NFL made it official earlier on Wednesday:

As we have been writing, Fitzpatrick has had two record-breaking weeks at the Helm of the Buccaneers. He has become the only quarterback in the 99 year history of the NFL to throw for at least 400 yards and four or more touchdowns in the first two games of any season.

And, those outstanding numbers have led Tampa Bay to a surprising 2- 0 start against a schedule that most believed would be very difficult at New Orleans and against the champion Eagles.

Fitzpatrick was great on the very first play of the game Sunday, hitting DeSean Jackson with a 75-yard bomb for a touchdown. That is the longest play in Buccaneers history on the opening play of any game. He went on to spread the ball around throwing another 75 yard TD to tight end O.J. Howard in the first half, and then TD passes to receivers Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in the red zone.

Fitzpatrick is also the first Buccaneer player in history to garner player of the week honors in back-to-back weeks. He also is now tied with Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger for third place for most player of the week honors since the start of the 2014 season with six.

Aaron Rodgers has eight and Cam Newton has seven in that same time frame.

The voting is significant again this week, as Fitzpatrick could have easily lost out to Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins, who also threw for over 400 yards at Lambeau Field against the Packers in a wild 29-29 tie.

However, the “Fitzmagic” is just too much, apparently, at the moment.

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    Jivan

    September 19, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    What QB controversy? Two straight offensive player of the week and you even entertain the idea of taking him out? If you were Coach Koetter and need to win right now to keep your job? What would you do?

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs WR Mike Evans still not practicing

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Bucs were back on the practice field Wednesday morning getting ready for their third preseason game on Friday night with the Cleveland Browns at Raymond James Stadium. However, once again, they are without their top receiver, Mike Evans, who remains sidelined with an injury.

Buccaneers beat reporter for The Athletic, Greg Auman, tweeted that Evans was not out on the practice field during the portion that is open to the media:

Evans pulled up during a drill in Sunday’s practice and head coach Bruce Arians made mention of the injury on Monday:

“Mike tweaked yesterday…it’s nothing serious,” Arians told the media.

It is reportedly a leg injury to Evans’ quadriceps that is hampering him.

The Bucs are not required to talk about injuries, much less the severity of them, at this stage. And, it’s not believed that there will be any further updates on Evans this week.

However, it’s easy to conclude the Tampa Bay will not risk playing him in the third preseason game and is Auman tweeted, the starters never play in the fourth preseason game which will be next Thursday in Dallas.

So clearly, Tampa Bay is resting and rehabbing Evans for the season opener with the 49ers.

Evans, a Pro Bowl wide receiver from a year ago, is the top target of QB Jameis Winston. A year ago he caught for a career high 1,524 yards and also career high 17.7 avg with 8 TDs.

Evans had 86 receptions, which were the second most of his five year career, in 2018, and he’s one of three receivers in NFL history to have 1,000+ receiving yards in each of his first five seasons. Hall of Famer, Randy Moss and A.J. Green are the other two.

Evans previously dealt with a hamstring injury in the 2015 preseason and missed the season opener with Tennessee but returned the following week. However, he’s been very durable since then, playing in 47 of the 48 games the last three years, having missed only a 2017 game while suspended for his role in a fight against the Saints.

This info comes on Evans’ birthday, as he turns just 26 today.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs RB Ronald Jones back at Tuesday practice

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs fans can exhale on the knee injury for running back Ronald Jones, at least for now.

Jones was seen at the portion of practice open to the media Tuesday afternoon with his left knee heavily wrapped but, most importantly, participating in drills in full pads.

Tampa Bay radio host, J.P. Peterson, tweeted the video evidence here:

Jones had not practiced the last two days of Bucs training camp with what was described as a swollen knee suffered after playing in Friday night’s preseason game with the Dolphins.

As we wrote yesterday, coach Bruce Arians provided a brief update after practice into Jones’ situation,

“Ronald’s knee swelled up a little bit and just trying to take it day to day with him.”

Traditionally, the third preseason game is the final time, where starters for the regular season play significantly. The Bucs are set to host the Cleveland Browns Friday night at Raymond James Stadium.

When asked about Jones’ chances to play or whether the team would play it safe, Arians briefly said:

“We’ll see how it is. We still got a few more days. I think Ronald’s gonna be ok.”

Jones appeared to have suffered some kind of left knee hyper-extension returning the opening kickoff on a rain-slicked turf against the Friday night. That’s what can be seen this photo on social media from Tampa Bay sports reporter Kevin O’Donnell showing Jones knee clearly in an awkward spot when he planted:

Jones did carry the ball twice for 7 yards later in the first quarter of the game before being shut down for the night.

Jones has been one of the standouts of the Bucs offseason and training camp with glowing updates repeatedly from Arians about his progress and his chances of seeing significant playing time. He missed three games with a hamstring injury in a disappointing rookie year.

However, he is expected to challenge incumbent starter from last year Peyton Barber for playing time/carries, once the regular season gets underway in two weeks.

Another obvious point, if his knee was sprained or worse, the Bucs would not have had on the field in full uniform trying to run and cut, even at a reduced speed. So, that’s also a positive.

For now, we await Arians’ and the teams plans for using Jones, or not, against the Browns later today and tomorrow.

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