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With Buccaneers getting blown out, Ryan Fitzpatrick benched for Jameis Winston

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It didn’t take long for Jameis Winston to get back on the field for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It just took a horrendous first half against the Chicago Bears to do it.

The Buccaneers were getting embarrassed at Chicago 38-3 at the end of the first half. That wasn’t all Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s fault. The Bucs defense that let Mitchell Trubisky throw for five first-half touchdowns was the biggest culprit.

But, it was also an easy time for the Bucs to pull Fitzpatrick and see what Winston could do now that he’s back from a three-game suspension.

On his first drive, Winston didn’t help much. He had his arm hit on a throw, the ball fluttered out and it was picked off by Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan.

Bucs will have to make a long-term decision at quarterback

Winston was decent against the Bears, not great. He was in a bad situation, coming in against a tough defense in a blowout. But he completed 16-of-20 passes for 145 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. It’s tough to draw a sweeping conclusion from that performance.

Winston was suspended three games for an incident in which he was accused of groping an Uber driver. That changed the landscape for the Buccaneers this season. Fitzpatrick started the season, and threw for more than 400 yards in each of Tampa Bay’s first three games. The Buccaneers started 2-1. It was unclear when Winston would get another shot. The Buccaneers need a clearer answer if the former No. 1 overall pick is their future at quarterback, but they couldn’t bench Fitzpatrick after those three games either.

While it wasn’t an ideal situation, the Buccaneers got a chance to look at Winston on Sunday as they continue to evaluate what to do at quarterback. Tampa Bay has a Week 5 bye, and their decision on who starts after the bye is a big one.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) returned from suspension and got to play the second half of a blowout. (AP)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston returned from suspension and got to play the second half of a blowout. (AP)

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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