A lot of Buccaneers fans may have awoke this morning wondering about the health of quarterback Jameis Winston. After all, the last time most saw him he was limping quite slowly off the field after he suffered what the Bucs described as a knee injury while being taken down during a two-point conversion run late in the fourth quarter of the Bucs 40-23 loss to the Falcons on Thursday night.
Well, Winston was walking a lot better after the game. In fact, he walked completely under his own power and without any noticeable limp or sign he might be favoring his leg as he made his way to the locker room about 30 minutes later. He also told coach Dirk Koetter and the media he was “fine.’’
You can take a look at the fourth quarter hit and judge for yourself here.
“I take a lot of shots every week,’’ Winston said when asked about the sandwich hit he took that forced the Bucs to pull him from the game. “I feel great.’’
That’s good news but there’s still reason for concern. Remember a few weeks ago, wide receiver Vincent Jackson finished a game at Carolina looking and supposedly feeling fine. It was discovered later, however, that he had suffered a season-ending knee injury. So Bucs fans, keep your fingers crossed. For Mike Evans, too.
Evans left the game around the same time as Winston and was being evaluated afterwards for a concussion after he turned in what Koetter said was the best game he’s seen Evans play in a Bucs uniform. And, the outcome aside, it was quite a game. And, the outcome aside, it was quite a game.
Evans caught a career-high 11 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns during a game in which he often seemed as if he was the only target Winston trusted to throw the ball to.
“Mike is our superstar,’’ Winston said. “Last week we talked about throwing him the ball and we missed the target. Now you see when we connect what type of night he has.’’
It wasn’t just Evans who had a good night, though. Winston actually had a pretty good one, too, completing 23 of 37 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns for a 110.3 passer rating.
It was encouraging effort, especially after Winston struggled badly with his accuracy during a windy day against the Raiders last Sunday, completing just 16 of 32 passes for 180 yards and two scores.
By the way, Winston and Evans have now combined for eight touchdown passes this year. That’s the most of any quarterback-receiver tandem in the league going into play this weekend and two better than Derek Carr and Michael Crabtree of the Raiders and Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson of the Packers, both of whom have hooked up for six touchdown passes.
Now, Bucs fans wait and hope for some good news on the injuries to their two best offensive players.