TAMPA – Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston probably won’t throw a football at all at practice on Wednesday. He probably won’t throw too many balls at practice on Thursday either.
The Bucs are hoping, though, that come Sunday, Winston will once again be able to throw a full slate of passes and will start as usual when they take on the Bills in Buffalo.
The Bucs confirmed on Monday that Winston suffered a sprained right AC joint when his throwing shoulder was slammed to the ground during a first-quarter play in the Bucs 38-33 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that Winston is day to day rather than week to week as a result of the injury and that it will more or less be up to Winston to decide whether he plays this week or not.
“I think it will be more does Jameis feel like he can play at the level he needs to play at,’’ said Bucs coach Dirk Koetter, who added that velocity and power will likely be the determining factors in the matter.
“We’ll be able to see at some point this week how (the injury) is effecting his velocity, because that was the big thing (that led to) Jameis (saying on Sunday) that he needed to come out.
“Jameis loves to play and he loves to compete but he just felt like he couldn’t drive the ball down the field the way he needed to. So we’ll just see how these next few days go with his recovery and his treatment.’’
Winston said after the game that he did not expect to miss a start as a result of the injury, but that was before he had an MRI on Monday to determine the true nature of the injury.
Winston, who played two more series after suffering the injury on Sunday, admitted that he was simply in too much pain to continue against the Cardinals but that pain could all be gone by kickoff this Sunday.
“The way I understand it, he will be cleared medically to play,’’ Koetter said. “And I know Jameis can handle a lot of pain. But the No. 1 thing in all of this is Jameis’ long-term health. That has to be the No. 1 thing.’’
Koetter said the team should have little trouble deciding whether Winston is good enough to go, noting that “it would only be if Jameis feels he can’t get the ball there on time’’ that he would sit out.’’
It’s possible that Winston will dress for this week’s game even if he can’t make all the throws that are normally required of him because the Bucs do not currently have a third quarterback.
Ryan Griffin, who filled that role a year ago, is still on injured reserve and while Griffin is scheduled to return to practice this week he is still not eligible to play in a game.
It is expected then that Ryan Fitzpatrick, who led the Bucs 33-point rally against the Cardinals, will take the bulk of the first-team reps in practice this week and will also be prepared to start if necessary.
With that looming as a possibility, the Bucs will likely put together a game plan that incorporates plays more geared toward Fitzpatrick’s skill set than Winston’s.
Koetter said, however, that Winston will likely get some work in the run-game portion of practice and that the Bucs will be prepared even if it takes until Sunday before they know Winston is ready to play.
“Jameis likes to take every rep in practice so that’s why you need a backup (like Fitzpatrick) who’s not a developmental guy, a guy who can go in without getting any reps,’’ Koetter said.
Bucs coach Arians again non-committal Tuesday on QB Winston
It’s become increasingly apparent, that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to move on from potential free agent quarterback Jameis Winston. And Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, coach Bruce Arians gave the latest example that he and the Buccaneers front office will look at the other options available first.
Arians spoke at a podium on numerous subjects, but the most prominent is what Tampa Bay will do in the coming days with Winston?
— Charlie Clifford (@cliffWISH8) February 25, 2020
Arians was asked directly about potential for a franchise tag for his starter a year ago and what the Bucs might proceed to do? But, he refused to endorse that option on the former number one overall pick Winston. And, the Bucs coach maintained that the team will possibly us the franchise tag for defensive end Shaq Barrett.
Further, Arians gave a pointed specific answer on Winston’s poor play last December as the team finished 7-9 and that has the team looking at other options,
Arians on Winston and why it’s still uncertain: “December wasn’t what I wanted to see.”
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 25, 2020
Arians has consistently refused back Winston since the off-season began. This included at an NFL coaching seminar earlier this month in Tampa. He said to the media at that time:
“Really nothing has changed,” Arians said. “What’s Door No. 2? You know? Can we make the one we have better? All those things you go through right now.”
“You’re just sitting there waiting to see is there someone available? … Is he a better option?
The Buccaneers faltered in the middle of the season to drop to 3-7 and then, Winston and Co. blew its final two games to finish 7 – 9 with Winston throwing a career-high 30 interceptions.
After their final loss at home to Atlanta in overtime, where Winston threw the game losing “pick six,” Arians was candid after the final game by saying about Winston’s play that it would have to be evaluated pass by pass and game by game in the off-season. Further, he told the media then, that there “was some great and some terrible…. and you have to decide, if the great outweighs the terrible.”
While Winston did throw for a career-high 5000 + yards in 2019, his interceptions and total turnovers continued to be his downfall throughout the season. The Buccaneers finished 1 – 6 in games against teams with winning records and Winston had 17 total turnovers in those seven games. He finished with the 30 picks that included 10 of them in the Bucs final four games.
Tampa Bay obviously will have the opportunity to go after a free agent quarterback or two, as there is much speculation about the likes of Tom Brady with the Patriots. Plus, Philip Rivers will not be re-signed by the Chargers and is available come March. And, now that Drew Brees has announced he wants to play at least one more year for the Saints, their backup Teddy Bridgewater will be in demand on the market.
The Bucs are also continuing the evaluating the QB class for the Draft the next few days in Indy, which could have some interesting names still available in the second and third rounds and beyond.
Bucs confirmed Monday they will have new uniforms in 2020
On Monday, the Bucs confirmed what they have been hinting at, they will have new uniforms in 2020. But the real question is: what does “new” mean in this instance?
We heard you!
New uniforms coming April 2020. pic.twitter.com/e7qNUsNWZb
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) February 24, 2020
The Bucs also released a statement through their website confirming that April will be the unveiling of the new uniforms, as well as, potential new color scheme, logo, etc. and had these comments from co – owner, Ed Glazer:
“We have heard the feedback from our fans loud and clear and have been working with the NFL and our league partners at Nike to usher in a new look as we enter this next decade of Buccaneers football. We look forward to revealing more details in the near future about our official unveiling event which will take place later this spring.”
As we wrote earlier this month, the Buccaneers have been hinting at trying to enhance their uniforms and there is some belief there will be more orange, the original color of the franchise. There is also educated speculation that the team may go back to a white helmet, which will enable them to have “throwback uniform games” that they’ve not been able to have for the last seven seasons.
This is because under league concussion protocol, players must have the same helmet all season and the Bucs primary one has been pewter in color since their chance in colors and logo in 1997,
The Bucs last altered their uniforms in 2014 by brightening the color red and slightly changing the logo and making it bigger on their pewter helmet. Teammates Ryan Jensen and Mike Evans are shown in the current color scheme, etc. above.
NFL teams have to submit changes in their colors and logos a year in advance. So obviously, this has been in the works for the Glazer family that owns the team for some time.
It should be noted that the Buccaneers NFC South Rivals, the Atlanta Falcons, have already made mention that they are changing their uniforms and color scheme. And, it’s believed that they will go back in 2020 to their original base color of red including possibly red helmets and potentially, primarily gray pants that they wore for over twenty years.
The Falcons have had black helmets for the better part of 30 years going back to Jerry Glanville changing the color scheme to primarily black jerseys in his days at the Falcons coach in the early 1990s.
Back to the Bucs. There is no other team in the NFL that has orange as their primary jersey color. The Bengals Broncos and Browns have occasionally worn orange “alternate jerseys” but not full time.
So, if the Glazers are again embracing a change to mostly orange jerseys, it will be unique. The video Monday showed a red jersey on a sewing machine, which could be a clue or could be misdirection of what the team actually intends to unveil in April.