DALLAS — Ryan Fitzpatrick is a healthy scratch for the Bucs' final road game this afternoon in Dallas, meaning that Ryan Griffin will serve as the backup to Jameis Winston at quarterback against the Cowboys.
Griffin has yet to play in an NFL regular-season game — his only on-field action has been in the preseason— but the move marks the first time that Griffin will serve as the Bucs' backup quarterback in a game in which both Winston and Fitzpatrick are available options.
He's been third on the Bucs' quarterbacking depth chart since the team claimed him in 2015 and hasn't played a snap in six NFL seasons. He did battle Fitzpatrick for the backup job last season and was the team's No. 2 when Winston served a three-game suspension to open the season.
Griffin is an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Despite his lack of experience, the fact that the Bucs have stuck with Griffin so long shows that they think highly of him. And in sessions open to the media, Griffin appeared to receive more snaps in practice this week leading up to the Cowboys game.
The Bucs have switched quarterbacks throughout the season — flipping from Fitzpatrick to open the season to Winston back to Fitzpatrick and more recently starting Winston for the past four weeks.
At least for today, Fitzpatrick will not be an option.
The other Bucs inactives are wide receiver Justin Watson, safety Josh Shaw, cornerback David Rivers, defensive tackle Rakeen Nunez-Roches, defensive tackles Jeremiah Ledbetter and tight end Tanner Hudson.
The decision to make Hudson inactive is an interesting one, because it makes Donnie Ernsberger, who was just added to the active roster this week, the team's third tight end. Also, receiver Bobo Wilson will dress over Watson because he has drawn return duties.
Contact Eduardo A. Encina at [email protected] Follow @EddieInTheYard.