Tampa Bay’s brass has continually dismissed any Peterson rumors, but with Doug Martin’s future still in limbo — he’s suspended for the first four games of the season and Tampa could get out of his contract — Winston working out with All Day has at least piqued the team’s interest.
Until Peterson finds a home, he’ll be linked to any team that needs to upgrade their running game. Working out with Winston is an obvious dot-connection we can make in March. Peterson, however, might have to wait until after the draft to find a new home.
Keenum, who used three field goals to beat Seattle 9-3 in Week 2, completed 14 of 25 passes for 190 yards, two TDs and one interception, which Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander returned 38 yards for a first-quarter touchdown. In addition to throwing a TD pass to Austin for a late 11-point lead, he got the Rams on track early with his 44-yard scoring pass to Brian Quick for the franchise’s first TD as the L.A. Rams since 1994.
Jameis Winston threw for 405 yards and three TDs for Tampa Bay (1-2). He threw an interception that set up one of Gurley’s two 1-yard touchdown runs and was stripped by the Rams’ Robert Quinn on the fumble that Westbrooks returned up the left sideline for a 31-20 lead.
After surviving a long stretch of games without Sims and wholesale jerseys andDoug Martin, and playing instead with Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers in the backfield, Tampa finally has its top two backs in the active roster for the first time since Week 2. Their play will be crucial down the stretch as Jameis Winston attempts to navigate the Bucs into the postseason and potentially toward an NFC South title.
Tampa Bay activated running back Charles Sims (knee) off of injured reserve on Saturday. He is expected to play Sunday afternoon against the Saints.
“This is obviously very disappointing for me personally,” Jackson said in a statement released by the team. “I had high hopes for this season because I know what we are capable of accomplishing as a team. My top priority going into every season is being out there with my teammates and helping my team any way possible. While I may not be on the field for the foreseeable future, I will be focused on beginning my rehab as soon as possible and finding ways to support my teammates in whatever way I can.”
Dirk Koetter’s offense is already without running backs Doug Martin and Charles Sims and wideout Cecil Shorts, whose injuries have contributed mightily to Jameis Winston’s sophomore slump and the Bucs’ overall offensive malaise. The loss of Winston’s fourth-favorite receiving target won’t derail their season, but certainly doesn’t help him right Tampa’s sinking ship.
This one boils down to connections. Rodgers, 26, played under Bucs coach Dirk Koetter in Atlanta, where he piled up 1,116 yards rushing at 3.7 yards per carry from 2011 to 2014. During that span, he also caught 155 passes for 1,104 yards, doing most of that work as a change-of-pace man on third down.
Rodgers spent last season with the Bears and doesn’t loom as a player set for much of a workload in Tampa. He could see snaps as a return man, but the Bucs have their workload set with Martin and Sims leading the way.
Charles Sims improved his toughness, but he isn’t a consistent between-the-tackles runner. In his first career start on Sunday, Sims had 13 carries for 55 yards — just his sixth career game with double-digit carries. Sims is one of the best pass-catching backs; not a pile mover like Martin. Jacquizz Rodgers is not the answer either.
With Martin out and the Bucs getting behind early, Winston has thrown more than 50 times each of the past two weeks. In a perfect display of his up-and-down nature, the second-year quarterback leads the NFL in turnovers (8), while being tied for the lead in touchdown passes (8; Drew Brees).