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Ryan Fitzpatrick wants to keep lines of communication open with Jameis Winston

Fitzpatrick has thrown for more than 1,200 yards in this first three games, but now Jameis Winston is back on the team
 
Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) gestures at the end of the Bucs' loss to the Steelers Monday in Tampa. [JIM DAMASKE  |   Times]
Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) gestures at the end of the Bucs' loss to the Steelers Monday in Tampa. [JIM DAMASKE | Times]
Published Sept. 27, 2018

Ryan Fitzpatrick's 11-year-old son, Brady, had the foresight to draft his dad to quarterback his fantasy football team, and so far it has paid off. Fitzpatrick has thrown for at least 400 yards in each of the first three games and has 11 touchdowns.

But he can't even tell his son whether he will start for the Bucs Sunday at Chicago.

"I can't trust them with anything," Fitzpatrick said of his six kids. "I guess they'll know later in the week.''

All indications are that Fitzpatrick will make his fourth straight start Sunday against the Bears, even though Winston will be on the sideline.

"I have all the respect in the world for Coach Koetter, and I think every decision he makes is best on what's best for the team," Fitzpatrick said. "And so, for him, he's open. He's honest. I respect him.

"I think he respects me. He respects the guys on the team, and he has all of our respect. So as long as you have those qualities, and we know he has the team first in his mind, it's not hard to be a team player."

It would be hard to imagine Fitzpatrick not starting after becoming the NFL's top passer this season and orchestrating the league's best offense.

How will Fitzpatrick and Winston  handle the role reversal?

"I think we have a great locker room," Fitzpatrick said. "We've got a bunch of unselfish guys, and I think that's important. Communication is probably the most important thing in situations like this, and just making sure everything is out there and you're open and you're honest with that. I think everybody can respect that."