Ryan Fitzpatrick will be quarterbacking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers once again in Week 9 as the team heads to Carolina for a matchup against Cam Newton and the Panthers. According to multiple reports, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter today announced that Fitzpatrick will replace Jameis Winston as starting QB, 24 hours after Sunday's 37-34 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Koetter benched Winston after his fourth interception on Sunday, allowing Fitzmagic to run wild once again; The 35-year old veteran threw for 194 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the Bucs rallied from 18 points down to tie the game at 34. However, the Bengals kicked a field goal with no time remaining and the Bucs dropped to 3-4 on the season.
According to ESPN, Tampa Bay has already picked up the fifth-year option on Winston's contract, worth $20.9 million, but it is guaranteed for injury only. The team could cut him with zero financial implications prior to the beginning of the new league year on March 14 at 4pm ET.
Winston, who missed the first three games of the season due to a suspension, has 11 turnovers in four games and six touchdown passes. Meanwhile, Fitzpatrick has thrown for 1,550 yards with 13 touchdowns and just five interceptions this season.