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Star quarterback Jameis Winston is expected to be suspended by the NFL for at least three games as he violated the league’s personal conduct policy.
The 24-year-old Winston, who plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was involved in the alleged groping incident of a female Uber Driver in Scottsdale, Arizona in March of 2016. The league began its investigation late last year. The NFL has yet to reach a decision but sources close to the situation say that Winston will know his fate as early as Friday or next week.
Jameis Winston Denies Allegations
Moments after Talai Ansari of Buzzfeed reported the incident, Winston immediately posted a statement denying the allegations being thrown at him. In the report, Winston, who was sitting in the passenger seat, allegedly touched the Uber driver’s crotch. The Buccaneers denied issuing an official statement until they receive an official decision from the league.
“The story falsely accuses me of making inappropriate contact with this driver. I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her,” Winston explained.
Crucial Loss For The Buccaneers
A possible absence of Winston would definitely affect the chances of the Buccaneers of bouncing back from a less impressive season last year. The Buccaneers managed to only pull off five victories last year. The third-year quarterback out of Florida State has accumulated eight rushing touchdowns to go along with 11,636 passing yards.
Should Winston suffer a suspension, the Buccaneers are expected to turn to Ryan Allen, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Austin Allen to do the quarterback duties in its first three games. The Buccaneers will open their season against the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, and the Pittsburgh Steelers who bagged the titles in its respective divisions last season.
Fitzpatrick is expected to take the starting spot from Winston as he is among the most experienced players on the roster. He competed in 299 snaps last regular season after a horrific shoulder injury to Winston. In addition, the Buccaneers have proven to be successful with the backup quarterback winning two games in Fitzpatrick’s three starts.
The 35-year-old Fitzpatrick defied Father Time last season when he had seven touchdowns, three interceptions while 58.9 percent of his passes last season for 1103 yards. Besides Fitzpatrick, the Buccaneers are also expected to lean on the wide receiving duo of Cameron Brate and OJ Howard. Experts believe that the Buccaneers will just need to win one of its first three games to keep their playoff hopes alive.
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