National Football League

Bucs QB Winston set to start Sunday vs. Lions

nfl4Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston will start Sunday against Detroit, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said Friday.

“He threw fine (today). He’ll be ready to go,” Arians said, according to a report by ESPN’s Jenna Laine, who observed part of Friday’s practice.

Laine added that Winston appeared healthy enough to throw short to intermediate passes during practice, indicating improvement in his right thumb, which he injured late in the second quarter of Sunday’s 38-35 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Winston sustained a hairline fracture of the thumb when his right hand hit the helmet of Indianapolis defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad just before halftime.

The 25-year-old Winston didn’t realize there was an issue until he returned to the field for the start of the third quarter and began having trouble gripping the football. He missed one series during the quarter due to the injury, with backup Ryan Griffin filling in.

In other injury news, left tackle Donovan Smith, who has missed practice all week with a knee injury, will be a game-time decision when the Bucs (6-7) visit the Lions (3-9-1).

Arians also confirmed three players have been ruled out for Sunday: wide receiver Mike Evans (hamstring), defensive tackle Beau Allen (ankle) and offensive linebacker Anthony Nelson (hamstring).

Winston passed for 456 yards against the Colts, a career best and the third-highest single-game output in franchise history. He also threw four touchdown passes and was intercepted three times.

He ranks second in the NFL with 4,115 yards and is tied for second with 26 touchdown passes. But it is the league-high 23 interceptions — also a career worst — that places Winston’s future with the club in doubt.

–Field Level Media

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