As if fears weren't heightened enough about the health of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, who will be shelved the next two weeks to let his injured right throwing shoulder heal, he revealed a visit Tuesday to see renown orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrew.
It's exactly what you want to avoid as an NFL quarterback – shoulder problems and Dr. Andrews, who has an impressive client list of professional athletes.
But the visit was only a consultation and there's no indication any new damage was found.
"I've known Dr. Andrews for a long time. Part of the protocol,'' said Winston, who visited Dr. Andrews in Pensacola Tuesday. "I mean, all the doctors are working together to come up with what they think. All I know is for the next two weeks, I'm going to be rehabbing and getting my shoulder 100 percent. That's all I can say.''
The Bucs, who have lost five straight games, announced plans to sit Winston down for the next two weeks in an effort to allow the sprained AC joint in his shoulder heal.
The Bucs will start backup Ryan Fitzpatrick against the Jets on Sunday.
"It's challenging but at the same time it gives me an opportunity to be there for my teammates in any way that I can, not just on the field,'' Winston said. "Obviously, I want to be out there playing. I love this game, I'm very passionate about this game. But I look at it as a great opportunity to rest and become 100 percent. I've got a lot of trust in Ryan (Fitzpatrick). Very much so that it's a blessing in disguise that he gets to face two opponents that he's been facing his whole career. So I see it as a good thing, you know? I see it as a way to get back healthy, man. Get back to 100 percent.
"It's a blessing in disguise again, because one thing about life, resilience is a beautiful thing about life. You get a chance to go through tough times and just keep your faith in God and continue to be who you are and continue to get better. I think that's one of the things we all miss sometimes. Yeah, we're going to go through some tough times and we're going to face adversity, but the most beautiful thing is how you overcome that adversity and how you show how resilient you are.''
Winston also used his news conference Wednesday to apologize for his role in the incident Sunday that got receiver Mike Evans suspended this week against the Jets.
Winston, who was out of the game at the time, made contact with Saints defensive back Marshon Lattimore that resulted in a one-game suspension for receiver Mike Evans.
"I just want to apologize on behalf of my teammates and Mike Evans for the incident that happened in the Saints game. That's something I can't do. In the heat of the moment, again, my competitive nature, obviously I can't come onto the field and make any gesture towards an opponent, let alone touch him. So I can't do that so I apologize for that."
Winston said he has known Andrews since sixth grade when he was a patient.
"Drew Brees was just coming off his labrum surgery in Birmingham and I met Drew Brees in Birmingham in Dr. Andrews' facility," Winston said. "Still to this day I know, somebody stole my wallet, but I was the first person to get Drew Brees' autograph when he played quarterback for the Saints. I'm telling you."