Bucs switch back to Winston as starting quarterback

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) was effective in relief Sunday and will start the next game.Photo Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter has changed his starting quarterback again.

Jameis Winston will become the starter again for Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers, the team announced Monday.

"He played better. Yup," Koetter told the Tampa Bay times of Winston. "You're asking me to put a statistical number on it. He played better. He got us in the end zone four straight times. For the most part, he made good decisions with the football.''

Ryan Fitzpatrick has started the past three games for Bucs, but he threw three interceptions in Sunday's loss to the New York Giants before being replaced by Winston.

In his past three starts, Fitzpatrick has thrown seven interceptions and lost a fumble in three games.

While starting the first three games of the season while Winston was sitting out a three-game suspension, Fitzpatrick completed 70.3 percent of his passes for 11 touchdown and four interceptions while throwing for more than 400 yards each time.

He started one more game before Winston took over as the starter.

After entering Sunday's game, Winston completed 12 of 16 passes for 199 yards, two touchdowns, and on that came on a desperation toss. Winston led four touchdown drives that helped the Bucs get back into what had been a one-sided game.

Koetter described Winston's play on Sunday as "fantastic."

Winston has had turnover issues this season. In fact, that is what caused him to be replaced as the starter.

"That's just the story of where we're at on offense right now," Koetter told the Times. "Almost every game, we get some beautiful, beautiful play at quarterback. Some tremendous throws, some great decision-making, some beautiful adjustments. But at other times, we got some bad decision-making that resulted in turnovers, and that's hurting our team."

In five games this season, including three starts, Winston has thrown eight touchdown passes and 11 interceptions, and he has also lost one fumble.

Tampa Bay leads the NFL with 23 interceptions thrown.

The Buccaneers have lost seven of their past eight games to 3-7.

--LB Kendell Beckwith will not be placed on the team's 53-man roster in time for Wednesday afternoon's deadline to activate him, meaning Beckwith won't play this season. Beckwith suffered a broken ankle in a car accident back in April, an injury that required surgery. He opened the season on the non-football injury active list.

--TE O.J. Howard, who injured his ankle on Sunday, is still being evaluated and his status for next Sunday against the 49ers is uncertain. Howard had five catches for 78 yards against the Giants. He has 565 receiving yards this season, fifth-most among NFL tight ends.

--RB Peyton Barber carried 18 times for 106 yards and a touchdown against the Giants.

--DE Jason Pierre-Paul had 1 1/2 sacks against his former team on Sunday.

--WR Mike Evans had six catches for 120 yards and a touchdown against the Giants.

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