Things don’t look so bright for Tampa Bay as the Buccaneers shut down Jameis Winston for a few weeks, but it is the right call for their future.
Two-6 isn’t the best start to the NFL season and losing your quarterback for a few weeks is even worse. But that’s the situation in Tampa Bay, after head coach Dirk Koetter announced he was shutting down starting quarterback Jameis Winston for a few weeks while Winston’s throwing shoulder heals.
With a season already on the decline, and after five straight losses, this is the correct call. Winston’s AC joint injury already makes him day to day.
Moreover, while the injury isn’t a season ender, the team can’t mess around with its franchise quarterback. Just look at Robert Griffin III and how he was treated in Washington.
Griffin wasn’t the same quarterback ever again and some believe it was because the Redskins staff rushed him back from his brutal injury. (To be fair, Griffin’s injury was more serious, as he tore his LCL, ACL, and meniscus.) He would continue to struggle, getting hurt again and again, never being what he was in the beginning of his rookie season.
RGIII isn’t the only player to have issues linger after injury. The quarterback taken before him, Andrew Luck, is also having concerns with his shoulder and he might never see the field in the 2017 season. Luck had off-season shoulder surgery and was scheduled to return this season, but after the setback, the Colts will most likely shut him down as well.
Tampa Bay has found their franchise quarterback in Winston. He has done well in his time so far in the NFL, throwing 10,052 yards, 60 touchdowns and 39 interceptions and rushing for 429 yards and seven touchdowns. If the Bucs are committed to keeping Winston as their franchise quarterback, resting him is the way to go.
Bucs fans don’t want to have him keep playing and aggravate the injury like Luck. You also don’t to rest him now, only to rush him to finish this season and hopefully turn things around, like RGIII. You want to keep him shut down for however long he needs. We have seen this season that a change at the quarterback position can turn the season around for better or for worse.
Tampa winning out would push them to 10-6 and most likely in the playoff picture, but the odds of that happening are slim-to-none. If the team puts themselves in a position to make the playoffs later down the road and Jameis is clear to play, then pull the trigger, but if not, is it worth the risk?
Players can never look the same after injuries. If they heal correctly and are given patience with the recovery time, they will most likely be okay. Rushing them back can make players — and their injuries — worse than they were before.
Let Winston recover — if the Bucs can’t get out of this rough patch, there isn’t a point in playing him the rest of the season.