The Pittsburgh Steelers are facing the NFC South this season, which means that they will be facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. According to a new report, their quarterback, Jameis Winston, is bracing for up to a three-game suspension, and should that prove to be the case, he could miss the Steelers’ game against them, which occurs in Week 3.
According to ESPN Tallahassee radio host Jeff Cameron, as transcribed by JoeBucsFan.com, “the thought from the Winston camp is that would be a maximum of three games. I do not know at this time whether or not they plan to appeal, and I do not know that three games is an accurate number. I’ve been told that would seem to be the maximum number of games that the suspension could be. It’s also likely that it’s less than that and it’s one game”.
Winston is potentially facing discipline for an incident that occurred a couple of years ago, reportedly of a sexually vulgar nature involving an unwilling female Uber driver. As the aforementioned Buccaneers blog laid out in an earlier post, his suspension could occur as a result of a stipulation in the NFLPA’s Personal Conduct Policy:
“Clubs and players are obligated to promptly report any matter that comes to their attention (through, for example, victim or witness reports, law enforcement, or media reports) that may constitute a violation of this Policy”, it reads. Winston failed to do that before the story became a public one, well after the incident allegedly took place.
“Failure to report an incident will be grounds for disciplinary action. This obligation to report is broader than simply reporting an arrest; it requires reporting to the league any incident that comes to the club’s or player’s attention which, if the allegations were true, would constitute a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy“.
The Steelers have never faced Winston, who was the first-overall draft pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. They last played the Buccaneers in 2014, during which they lost to Mike Glennon, who threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.
Winston, the Florida State product, has a career 18-27 record over 45 games played. He missed three games in 2017. He posted his highest quarterback rating last year of 92.2, tossing 19 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. He has thrown for over 11,000 yards with 69 touchdowns and 44 interceptions to date. He was named to the Pro Bowl during his rookie season.
The Steelers are scheduled to visit Tampa Bay on September 24 to face the Buccaneers in a Monday night game. They lost the most recent matchup, but won the previous four (dating back to 2001).