Benched Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston has ‘real chance’ to play again this season, report says

The Buccaneers don’t seem ready to give up on Jameis Winston.

The 24-year-old quarterback threw four interceptions and was replaced by Ryan Fitzpatrick in the Buccaneers’ Week 8 loss to the Bengals. The veteran was then tabbed to start over Winston when the team was topped 42-28 by the Panthers on Sunday.

But Winston may not serve as the backup for the rest of the season. Tampa Bay has been “very impressed” with Winston since he has been benched, according to a report from CBS Sports, which cited unidentified league sources.

The Buccaneers front office is hoping to have another opportunity to evaluate the top overall pick in the 2015 draft and that he has a “real chance” to play again in 2018.

The team is not viewing Winston “as damaged goods” and told him this week they continue to think “he can be a quality starting quarterback in this league,” the report says.

Winston, who was suspended for the first three games of the season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy, has thrown six touchdowns and 10 picks in four appearances in 2018. He has completed 61.2 percent of his passes in 49 career games.

Fitzpatrick tallied 243 passing yards and threw four touchdowns, along with two interceptions, in the loss to Carolina.