Reports leaked earlier in the week that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Jameis Winston was preparing to be disciplined by the NFL in relation to the incident with an Uber driver back in 2016. Now, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the league is preparing to suspend Winston the first three games of the season.
NFL is planning to suspend Buccaneers’ QB Jameis Winston the first three games of the season for violating the personal conduct policy, league sources tell ESPN.
ESPN’s Tallahassee host Jeff Cameron initially reported Winston was bracing to be suspended – and he will be.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 21, 2018
Winston was accused of groping a female Uber driver in March of 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The 24-year-old signal caller has denied the accusations but will reportedly not appeal the suspension. Given the NFL’s broad punishment guidelines, it’s hard to be sure what the NFL is actually suspending him for unless more specifics come forward.
The Bucs came into the 2017 season with high hopes of a return to the playoffs. Entering his third year under center, many expected a “matured” Winston to take the next step. They won 2-of-3 to start the year but stumbled and lost five in-a-row to hit the midway point of the season with a 2-6 record. In that stretch, Winston completed 61 percent of his passes. However, he threw just 10 touchdowns to six interceptions and would miss the next three games due to injury.
Winston returned to the team for final five games of the season. He went 1-5 in that stretch and threw just nine touchdowns.
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The Florida State product made nice strides from year one to year two with the Bucs. On top of improving some of his individual statistics, he got the Bucs from six wins to nine. However, the huge step back in 2017 would normally be enough to make Bucs fans concerned. The suspension makes it worse as Winston is in a make-or-break year as well as head coach Dirk Koetter.
The Buccaneers open the season on the road against the Saints and then back-to-back home games against the Eagles and Steelers. 13-year veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely handle the workload in Winston’s absence. Fitzpatrick went 2-1 last year when Winston was out of the lineup, throwing three touchdowns and just one interception.