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Jameis Winston on his return: 'I'm not a selfish player'

NFL.com | Updated: 2018-09-28 12:00:12

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter knows who is starting at quarterback between Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston for Week 4. He's just not telling anyone.

Koetter doesn't want to tip his hand to the Chicago Bears, but Winston, who returns from a three-game suspension, sounded more like a backup than a starter during a Wednesday morning press conference.

Winston placed an emphasis on doing whatever he can to help the team remain successful and wanting to be a part of the winning culture that has come with the Buccaneers' 2-1 start.

"My passion for this team, my love for the team, goes beyond where I'm out there throwing the football for this team or not," Winston told reporters. "Like I said, it's my first day back. Let me enjoy that before I start answering any more questions about that."

Without Winston, the Buccaneers' offense has thrived and Fitzpatrick became the first quarterback in the league's history to pass for more than 400 yards in three consecutive games.

The veteran quarterback was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week in Weeks 1-2 and currently leads the league with 1,230 yards passing and ranks second in touchdown passes with 11. Fitzpatrick took the majority of first-team snaps in practice Wednesday, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.

Winston said he watched the games during his suspension and he is well aware of the FitzMagic mania that has swept through the community and taken the league by storm since Week 1.

"I've seen the beards, but when the guy throws for 400 yards three games in a row, you got to love that," Winston told reporters. "And as a community, we got to get behind this team because when we're winning, when things are going good, we got to capitalize on that. I'm just happy to be back, man, like I'm happy that now I can be a part of that. I'm not watching from a distance. I can be here with my teammates."

Whether he is starting or sitting behind Fizpatrick, Winston made it clear his return changes nothing and all he wants to be a part of the team's achievements on the field.

"It's about the team's success," Winston said. "I'm not a selfish player; it's about our team. We're out here doing big things and we have to continue doing it."

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