Buccaneers Odds: Jameis Winston Questionable for Bills Game

jameis-winston-week-7-injuryTampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has been diagnosed with a sprained AC joint in the shoulder of his throwing arm. Coach Dirk Koetter says that there’s no structural damage and Winston will be day-to-day.

Winston left last Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals after taking a hit from linebacker Chandler Jones. He fell hard on his right shoulder and tried to continue playing. However, the pain was too much and backup Ryan Fitzpatrick had to take his place.

Fitzpatrick will work with the first team in the early part of this week while Winston works on getting healthy.

“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 told the media.

“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,” Koetter added, while saying that Winston won’t practice or even throw the ball until later this week.

jameis-winston-bucs-injuryThe Buccaneers could wait until Friday to decide if Winston is capable of playing against the Buffalo Bills this Sunday. Koetter said that there’s no risk of further injury, but Winston still needs to be able to tolerate the pain to play.

“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.”

What if Winston can’t Play?

ryan-fitzpatrick-buccaneersIf Jameis Winston can’t suit up, then Fitzpatrick will get the start. The veteran completed 22-of-32 passes for 290 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions in relief of Winston. Fitzpatrick is not only the next-best option on the roster, but he’s also the only quarterback who’s currently healthy for Tampa Bay.

Ryan Griffin, the team’s third quarterback, also has a sprained AC joint that he suffered in the preseason. Griffin’s injury has been described as more severe than Winston’s, which is why he spent time on injured reserve. But Griffin is getting healthier and now able to practice again.

Koetter and general manager Jason Licht have also discussd the possibility of bringing in another quarterback in the case of an emergency. However, no decision has officially been made on this front.

Buccaneers vs Bills Odds Week 7

Again, we won’t know if Winston can play on Sunday until later this week. He must show the ability to drive the ball downfield if he’s going to face the Bills.

That said, the Buccaneers are a tough bet right now as we await the Winston’s status. This is one reason why we don’t currently have a line for them right now at GTBets.eu.

This was already going to be a tough game for Tampa Bay because they’re on the road and facing a 3-2 team. But without Winston, it’ll be an even tougher matchup.

The one solace here is that Fitzpatrick is a very capable backup. He started several years for the Bills and New York Jets, showing that he can have a good game when needed.

In any case, you may want to wait and see if once double take the field before making a bet (when available). After all, he gives them a much better chance to cover their spread this week.

Doug Martin hoping for Comeback Season in 2015

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Oakland RaidersThree years ago, Doug Martin burst on to the NFL scene with an incredible rookie season that saw him tally 1,454 rushing yards, 472 receiving yards and 12 total touchdowns. The bar has been set high ever since, but unfortunately, injuries have prevented Martin from reaching the lofty numbers of his first season. But in just a few weeks, the 2015 NFL season begins and “Muscle Hamster” gets another chance to show that he can reclaim the glory from his first year.

It seems like a tough task, considering that ankle and shoulder injuries have slowed Martin down to just 950 total yards over the past two seasons. And when he could be on the field, the 26-year-old often split time with less-heralded players. But again, this is a fresh season, and there’ll be new faces leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and head coach Lovie Smith.

Martin has taken this time to reinvent himself by shedding some weight and coming into training camp leaner. He’s been able to show off the results in practice, looking faster and more agile than ever since he’s been in the pros. And if Martin needs any extra motivation to play his best, he’ll get it in fact that the Buccaneers didn’t pick up his fifth-year option. This means that he can either play his way into a better contract with the team, or get himself a nice deal with a new squad.

Doug Martin,  D.J. WareBut the need for improvement goes far beyond just Martin. Tampa Bay hasn’t had a winning record in five years, and they’ve failed to reach five wins in three out of the past four seasons. Last year was particularly bad as the Bucs limped to a 2-14 record. So is there any reason to believe that they can spark a turnaround in 2015?

“The sky is the limit,” says Martin. “We have a lot of potential going into this year with this team. We have a lot of weapons and a lot of guys with fire in them that want to be successful. I just can’t wait to get out there with them.”

He’s certainly right about the weapons, given that Tampa Bay potentially has talent at every offensive position. Top-overall pick Jameis Winston headlines this group and he’ll be looking to lead the Bucs to a winning record in his first year. Wideouts include Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans, who are capable of forming a fierce 1-2 receiving duo. And Martin, Charles Sims and Bobby Rainey will lead what could be a very good running back trio. Of course, if Martin pays anything like his rookie season, this could become a one-man show.

“It’s an important year for Doug and for our football team to establish the run game and Doug’s our starting tailback,” Smith said. “We talk about the commitment to the run. He’s done it before. There’s no reason he can’t do it again.”

If camp and OTAs are any indication, Martin is up to the task of having a great year. But much of this will hinge on the offensive line, which is mostly comprised of new players.