A late comeback directed by Winston fell short in last weekend’s 34-29 loss at Atlanta, but that’s just part of the reason for the fourth-year quarterback’s motivation for Sunday’s matchup against the visiting Cleveland Browns.
Winston will be playing in front of the home fans for the first time since the 2017 regular-season finale and told the Tampa Bay Times that he cannot wait to take the field at Raymond James Stadium.
“I’m psyched to get back out there in Ray Jay,” Winston said. “It’s been a long time for me being in Ray Jay. We’ve got to bring home a win for them. Last time we were there it was Monday Night Football, and since then it’s been like a month since we’ve been as a team in Ray Jay.
“It’s definitely going to be exciting to be out there and get that whole atmosphere with the fans.”
The Buccaneers (2-3) need every edge they can get. They have lost three in a row following a 2-0 start to the season and played their last two on the road — sandwiched around their bye week.
Winston was unavailable for the first two home matchups while serving a three-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on personal conduct.
The former No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, Winston saw his first action in relief in a 48-10 mauling by the Chicago Bears and was named the starter for Week 6 in Atlanta.
Winston finished 30 of 41 for 396 yards with four touchdowns and a pair of interceptions against Atlanta. He threw a pair of fourth-quarter scoring passes and drove Tampa Bay to the Falcons’ 21-yard line on his final drive before time ran out on the comeback attempt.
The 24-year-old Winston became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for over 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. He was hampered by a shoulder injury in 2017, limiting him to a career-worst 3,504 passing yards with 19 touchdowns in 13 games.