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Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has officially been diagnosed with a sprained AC joint in the shoulder of his throwing arm, according to coach Dirk Koetter. There is no structural damage, and he’ll be day-to-day.

On Winston’s first series Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, he took a jarring hit from linebacker Chandler Jones and fell hard on his right shoulder. He attempted to play through it but was replaced by backup Ryan Fitzpatrick in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick will get the majority of reps this week.

“Jameis is as tough as they come, but we’ll be able to see at some point this week how it’s affecting his velocity,” Koetter said. “That was the thing yesterday, when Jameis said he needed to come out — Jameis loves to compete and loves to play — but he just felt like he couldn’t drive the ball down the field like he needed to. We’ll just have to see how his days, how his recovery and how his treatment goes.”

“The fact that he’s not definitely out, that’s obviously good news,” said Koetter, adding that Winston won’t attempt to throw until later in the week, if he throws at all.

The team will make a decision to determine if he can play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills later this week. The issue is more about pain tolerance than anything. Koetter said there is no risk of further injury.

“The way I understand it, he will be cleared medically to play,” Koetter said. “I know Jameis can handle a lot of pain — that’s not gonna be an issue — I think it’s going to be more of, ‘Does Jameis feel like he can play at the level he needs to play at?’ Obviously, the No. 1 thing in all of this is Jameis’ long-term health. That has to be the No. 1 thing.”

If Winston can’t go, Fitzpatrick would start. On Sunday, Fitzpatrick completed 22 of 32 passes for 290 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He is currently the only healthy quarterback on the Bucs’ 53-man roster.

The team’s current third quarterback, Ryan Griffin, has been recovering from a sprained AC joint in his shoulder suffered in the preseason, although it has been described as a more severe injury than Winston’s. Griffin has been on injured reserve and is eligible to return to practice this week but can’t play yet. Koetter and general manager Jason Licht have discussed bringing in another quarterback this week to assist.

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