It was a busy Monday at One Buc Place. Head coach Dirk Koetter announced his Week 9 starting quarterback and the Buccaneers received positive news about Vita Vea.
As soon as Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter’s press conference began, he announced that Ryan Fitzpatrick would be the team’s starting quarterback for their Week 9 matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
Koetter went on to explain that this is a week-by-week decision. Fitzpatrick will be under center this week, but Jameis Winston could return to the role at some point this season.
It may not have been the shocking move, but it had to be done. The only way Koetter can save his job is by winning football games. At the moment, Fitzpatrick is the better option.
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Winston had his chance to cement himself as the franchise quarterback, and he responded by putting up one of the worst stretches of his professional career.
Winston completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,181 yards. He threw for six touchdowns, but he led the league with 10 interceptions.
Fitzpatrick’s strong second-half performance made it nearly impossible for Winston to get his starting job back after his four-interception performance.
On the first play of the final quarter, Vita Vea suffered a knee injury. The Buccaneers feared that he tore his ACL, which would have ended his rookie season.
Thankfully, the MRI came back negative, Vea season could continue.
Vea has had a quiet start to his career, managing just two tackles on the year. However, his presence is apparent in the run game. His massive frame typically draws double teams.
Vea will never flash on the stat sheet. He will do the dirty work as his teammates around him reap the rewards.
“The first MRI in history to come back with positive news,” Koetter said. “He did not have the injury that they feared he might have had.”