After Bucs QB Jameis Winston re-injured his throwing shoulder, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be getting the start against his former team on Sunday.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Winston has been shutting for several weeks to allow his throwing shoulder to heal. Fitzpatrick took over for Winston in the second half of the Bucs' 30-13 loss to the Saints on Sunday. Winston, who had an AC joint sprain diagnosed in Week 6, said he had been dealing with soreness from the injury.
So, Fitzpatrick will get the start against the Jets -- the team he played for the past two seasons. Despite this being the major storyline to the matchup, head coach Todd Bowles is only focused on winning the game.
"Fitz was good when he was here," Bowles told The Post. "We're going down to play the Buccaneers, not Fitzpatrick. We're going to prepare like a normal week, go down and try to get a win."
Fitzpatrick almost led the Jets to a playoff run in 2015, but came up short in Week 17 with a loss in Buffalo. He did, however, set the franchise record with 31 touchdowns in a single season that year.
With his contract up after the season, it was figured that Fitzpatrick would lead the Jets to the playoffs after his career year in 2015. But a holdout until training camp would keep him off the field until he received a one-year, $12 million contract. Fitzpatrick believed he deserved a better deal because of his performance in 2015, and he wanted to be compensated accordingly.
Unfortunately, he didn't perform in 2016 as expected. The Jets finished 3-8 as a starter in 14 games, and threw 12 touchdowns to 17 interceptions. Head coach Todd Bowles had Geno Smith and Bryce Petty start in his place throughout the season, but injuries to both players had Fitzpatrick back on the field.
Fitzpatrick signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Bucs this offseason, which became his seventh team in 13 years. The Jets are expected to have an advantage playing their former quarterback, but Bowles isn't so sure about that. It is an entirely different monster than fans anticipate.
"Not really. It's a different scheme," Bowles said. "You're more playing the scheme than you are the player. He's familiar with us as well as we're familiar with him. He's got 52 guys behind him. We're a different team. We've tweaked some things since he's been gone. So, it's a little different for both parties."
Josh McCown took over for Fitzpatrick this season, and has thrown for 1,980 yards with 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
So, as the Jets head to Tampa, Fitzpatrick will be looking for revenge.