If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to erase a multiple score deficit against the New Orleans Saints and avoid a fifth straight loss, they might have to do it without starting quarterback Jameis Winston.
Winston remained on the sidelined — in uniform but with his helmet off — when the Bucs opened the second half on offense, trailing 16-3. Ryan Fitzpatrick led that drive, which lasted only three plays before Tampa Bay had to punt back to New Orleans.
Winston had been limited recently with right shoulder soreness and was noticeably hindered by the injury during the first half, during which he completed 7 of 13 passes for 67 yards.
The Bucs say Winston is questionable to return.
Winston suffered a sprained AC joint in the shoulder of his right throwing arm three weeks ago against the Arizona Cardinals. He was sacked twice in the first half — by defensive ends Cameron Jordan and Alex Okafor — and was hit four times, with the Bucs’ offensive line struggling big-time in protection.
Before this week, Winston had only thrown one day a week because of the injury. This was the first week since the injury that he was throwing all three days, with Winston believing the injury was getting better. AC joint injuries, however, are caused by and can become aggravated by contact, such as a sudden blow from a hit.