Winston (suspension) is eligible to return to the Buccaneers' 53-man roster Tuesday, but it remains uncertain if he'll start over Ryan Fitzpatrick in Sunday's game at Chicago, Austin Knoblauch of NFL.com reports. "Let's see what the injury report [says when it] comes back," head coach Dirk Koetter said after Monday's 30-27 loss to the Steelers, regarding his thoughts on the quarterback situation. "Any time we have these games, it's not always obvious how the guys are going to come in the next day and come in on Wednesday. Let's see what happens. I'd love to get a chance to talk to Jameis face-to-face before I tell the rest of the world."
After Winston was handed a three-game suspension in June for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, it was widely assumed at the time that he would immediately recapture the starting role once eligible to return. However, that no longer looks to be a certainty, with Fitzpatrick's impressive play in Winston's stead proving vital to the Bucs' 2-1 start to the season against a tough slate of opponents. Though Fitzpatrick took a step back Monday by throwing three first-half interceptions, he mounted an impressive comeback bid in the second half that fell just short. Fitzpatrick still finished with at least three touchdowns and 400-plus passing yards for the third time in as many games, boosting him to an NFL-best 11.1 yards per attempt on the season. Koetter will likely provide more insight into his plans at quarterback when the Buccaneers reconvene for practice Wednesday, but Fitzpatrick's hot play along with an incoming bye in Week 5 may give the team enough reason to use Winston -- who hasn't practiced with the team in 28 days -- as an understudy in his first game back from suspension.