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Monday, Dec 11, 2017
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Bucs QB Jameis Winston not medically cleared to throw; Ryan Fitzpatrick to start again

Doctors would not clear Bucs 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 sprain 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.

"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," coach Dirk Koetter said.

Fitzpatrick, who struggled in his debut as the Bucs 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.

"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. Sixty percent completion, but then you factor out a couple of drops.

"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 and a couple times. One time he scrambled and got a first down running it. In that very last drive, that one to (Chris) Godwin happened 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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