The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will get Jameis Winston back this week, as the quarterback participated fully in practice today. Head coach Dirk Koetter said that Winston was healthy and “cleared to go.” Winston missed the past three games with a shoulder injury.
While there may have been a little doubt about Winston immediately taking back the starting job from Ryan Fitzpatrick, not to worry: Koetter confirmed that Winston will be starting. Fitzpatrick played some okay, if erratic, football in Winston’s absence, but Winston is clearly better, the future, and he’s healthy enough to go—so he’ll start.
Winston was having a career year prior to his shoulder injury, genuinely looking like a top ten quarterback early in the season. His last two games before being pulled were a disaster, though, and he spent the past three weeks observing from the sidelines and rehabbing his shoulder injury.
With the Bucs almost entirely out of the playoff race, Winston’s return doesn’t do much for them except prepare them for the future. But that’s important, too, and maybe he can finally start connecting with DeSean Jackson on those deep balls.