Jameis Winston made his way back to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers facility on Tuesday after serving a three-game league-mandated suspension.
Those three games were defined by backup Ryan Fitzpatrick tossing or 400-plus yards each game and scoring 11 total touchdowns en route to leading the Bucs to a surprising 2-1 record.
Previous reports suggested that Fitzpatrick would have to blow up Monday night against Pittsburgh in order to hand the starting job back to Winston. While the quarterback did throw three first-half interceptions, he nearly led Tampa from huge a deficit to win the game.
A day after the Buccaneers’ first loss of the season, head coach Dirk Koetter is not yet ready to name a starting quarterback. The caveat here is that both Winston and Fitzpatrick know who will be under center next week against the Chicago Bears.
Dirk Koetter says both Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick know of his plan for the #Bucs QB position going forward … but he's not telling us.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 25, 2018
Common logic seems to suggest that Fitzpatrick will remain the starter. He’s become an icon within the Tampa fan base and has his Bucs playing great football early in the season.
Then again, Winston has been seen as a team leader and is just a few years removed from being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Koetter and Co. go about this. But one thing is clear. If Fitzpatrick does in fact start Week 4, he’ll likely have a short leash.