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Jameis Winston: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback remains sidelined by shoulder

By The Sports Xchange
Jameis Winston: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback remains sidelined by shoulder
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) looks up at the scoreboard before the game with the New Orleans Saints on November 5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

TAMPA -- Doctors would not clear Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston to begin throwing after an evaluation of his shoulder injury Monday and he could miss one or two more weeks.

The Bucs have gone 2-0 under backup Ryan Fitzpatrick since Winston was shut down to give the sprained AC joint in his right shoulder a chance to completely heal. The Bucs have said they plan to be very careful with his injury and don't want him to return until he is completely healthy.

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"The medical staff evaluated Jameis sometime earlier today and they determined that he's not ready to resume throwing yet, so Jameis will be out this week and re-evaluated next Monday," head coach Dirk Koetter said.

Fitzpatrick, who struggled in his debut as the starter two weeks ago in a 15-10 win over the New York Jets, played better against Miami Sunday. He completed 22 of 37 passes for 275 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 30-20 win over the Dolphins Sunday.

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"My confidence is the same, but I'm sure other people's has grown," Koetter said. "Ryan has done exactly what I thought he would do, but I can understand why other people who haven't seen him practice would not necessarily expect that. He's playing how I thought he would play."

What was the biggest difference between Fitzpatrick's performance against the Dolphins?

"Ryan made really good decisions," Koetter said. "We didn't turn the ball over. We say every week in our meetings, if we don't turn it over, we got a great chance to win. Not only did we not turn it over, we were a plus-five. So it starts with that. And he throws 60 percent completion, but then you factor out a couple of drops.

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"I think he had four throwaways and no matter how much of a veteran quarterback you are, throwing the ball away when the play is not there it's still to this day one of the hardest things to get a quarterback to do. Ryan did a good job with that. He also scrambled. One time he scrambled and got a first down running it. In that very last drive, that one to (Chris) Godwin right in front of our sideline, I mean he scrambled maybe before he really needed to, but still that was a nice play to get that drive going."

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The Bucs play at Atlanta and at Green Bay the next two weeks in their quest to get back to .500 at 6-6.

--The case of Jameis Winston and a female Uber driver in Arizona took more twists Sunday, with Winston getting some level of corroboration, and his unnamed accuser retaining a familiar, high-profile attorney.

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Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby released a statement in defense of Winston, saying he was in the back seat with the Bucs quarterback during the Uber ride in March 2016 and "nothing inappropriate" happened.

The NFL is investigating an allegation Winston groped the driver during a 2 a.m. ride in Scottsdale, Ariz. While strongly denying the accusation, Winston had not identified any of the passengers during the ride.

Darby, 23, who won a national championship with Winston at Florida State in 2013, said that no inappropriate contact took place, but did not identify the third passenger.

"I am confident that nothing inappropriate in nature happened in the car that evening and Jameis did not have any physical contact with the Uber driver," Darby said. "The accusations are just not true."

This is not the first time Darby has been a witness for Winston during allegations of a sexual nature. Darby and another FSU teammate, Chris Casher, witnessed the sexual encounter that led to Erica Kinsman of Zephyrhills accusing Winston of rape in 2012.

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A Florida State hearing panel found Winston not responsible for "conduct of a sexual nature that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for another person" and "acts that invade privacy of another person."

Winston was never charged in the case, but reached a settlement in a civil suit with Kinsman.

Her attorney in that case, John Clune, was retained by Winston's new accuser Sunday, and he reiterated his client's belief that Winston alone was with her in the car.

--The Bucs gave up 448 yards to Miami, half on four plays, all 45 yards or longer. They had allowed a play that long in only one other game this season, three of them in the loss at Minnesota.

Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Still had seven catches for 180 yards, third-most ever by a Bucs opponent. Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has the record with 199 in a 2012 game.

The Bucs didn't allow a third-down conversion in the first half, getting two interceptions from Jay Cutler. In the second half, Matt Moore went 6-for-9 for 203 yards, converting six third downs where Miami needed eight yards or more.

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NOTES: K Patrick Murray has been so consistent since taking over as the Bucs' kicker that he had no doubt when called upon to make a go-ahead field goal with four seconds left in Sunday's win. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed three passes for 55 yards in the final three minutes, and Murray made good on his 35-yard kick to break a 20-all tie. "I take every kick the same, doesn't matter the situation of the game," Murray said. "Going out on that field after Fitz and the offense drove down there and they did a terrific job, I knew I was going to make it. I knew it was going to go right down the middle; I just had a feeling and it was right." Murray is now 10-for-12 on field goals this season - he was 3-for-4 Sunday with a 42-yard miss - and a perfect 8-for-8 on extra points. ... S T.J. Ward started for the Bucs for the first time ahead of Chris Conte Sunday at Miami, though both finished with three tackles. ... RB Doug Martin continues to struggle to run the ball consistently, getting 38 yards on 19 carries. Only once in the NFL this season has a back had that many carries and averaged 2.0 yards or fewer; Adrian Peterson had 21 carries for 29 yards against Seattle. ... OL Evan Smith left the game with a concussion.

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REPORT CARD vs. DOLPHINS

--PASSING OFFENSE: B - Ryan Fitzpatrick was much better in his second start with the Bucs. He made good decisions and did not turn the ball over. He passed for 275 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

--RUSHING OFFENSE: F - The Bucs cannot run the football. They haven't run the football well all season. It starts with the offensive line, but the tight ends are part of the problem, too. RB Doug Martin had 38 yards on 19 carries.

--PASS DEFENSE: D - The Bucs forced five turnovers, including four interceptions of Jay Cutler. But Matt Moore ripped them in the second half with 282 yards passing and a touchdown. There was no pressure on Moore.

--RUSH DEFENSE: B - The Bucs allowed a 69-yard run to start the game. But after that, Miami running backs got 12 yards total on the ground Sunday. Monster game by DT Gerald McCoy.

--SPECIAL TEAMS: B - Bryan Anger did a nice job again of flipping field position and K Patrick Murray kicked 3-of-4 field-goal attempts, including the game-winner with four seconds left.

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--COACHING: A - Hard to win one game with your backup quarterback. The Bucs have won two.

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