Buccaneers bench Jameis Winston, name Ryan Fitzpatrick starting QB

By Vincent Frank
David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The fall from grace of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has now culminated in the former No. 1 overall pick being benched.

Buccaneers head coach Dork Koetter named veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick as the team’s starting quarterback for its Week 9 outing against the Carolina Panthers.

This comes on the heels of Tampa Bay benching Winston in favor of Fitzpatrick this past Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Winston had thrown four interceptions at that point and the Buccaneers were down three scores. Fitzpatrick responded by tying the game up before Cincinnati ultimately kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired.

Despite missing the first three games of the season to suspension, Winston heads into Week 9 tied for the league lead in interceptions with 10. He’s also fumbled the ball four times in four games (three starts).

Given that Tampa Bay has already picked up the 2019 option on Winston’s contract, it’s not yet known how this is going to unfold. If the team has indeed decided to move on from him altogether, we’ll get a sign in the form of the embattled quarterback being inactive moving forward. His 2019 salary is guaranteed for injury only.