For a moment on Sunday, Antoine Winfield Jr. overlooked former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston’s potential season-end injury.
Winfield Jr. mocked Winston’s “eating a ‘W‘” moment from last season after picking off the New Orleans Saints in the end zone. It occurred the drive after Winston injured his knee on Devin White’s horse collar tackle.
“Not a good look from Winfield, mocking Winston after he left the game with injury,” The Athletic’s Greg Auman wrote. “He’s better than that.”
Winfield Jr.’s interception got called back because of a penalty by Will Gholston for roughing up Saints backup quarterback Trevor Siemian. The Bucs committed 11 penalties for 99 yard in the loss.
It’s not the first time that Winfield Jr. mocked an opposing player. He did it in Super Bowl LV when he flashed the peace sign at Kansas City’s Tyreek Hill in response to Hill’s taunt on a touchdown in November 2020 against the Bucs.
Winfield Jr., who got fined for the peace sign incident, said “it was something I just had to do” according to NFL.com.
White Apologetic For Winston Injury
White celebrated his horse collar tackle of Winston initially but went to apologize afterward. The two were teammates in 2019, White’s rookie season with the Bucs.
“I went up, tapped him on the head and said, ‘I hate this happened to you man. Because you’re playing good ball and just praying for you,'” White told the media per ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “Because, man, Jameis is a good guy. He’s a great guy. I’m gonna put an emphasis on that. All last year, when they was playing and we was playing, he was texting — I don’t know if he was texting everybody, but me and him was close, when I came in, he kinda showed me around — and just telling me how proud he was of me.”
“Even when we won a Super Bowl, he was one of the first texts, like, ‘Congratulations, man. I wish I could be part of that, but y’all deserve it. You put a lot of work in, and we always talked about how special you all could be,'” White added. “He’s a great guy. You hate to see that happen. I hope it’s not serious, man. I’m just praying for him. But it’s a long season. (I) hope he can come back and fight with his team.”
Winston had an MRI on Sunday per Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams, and Saints head coach Sean Payton anticipates the worst.
“I think it’s significant. He felt something. He’s on crutches right now. I don’t want to say until I have a chance to talk to the doctors,” Payton told the media per Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper.
White finished the game with 10 tackles.
White: ‘We Just Gotta Get Healthy’
Tampa Bay has more than its share of injuries from Rob Gronkowski, who left Sunday’s game with back spasms, to cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting, who has been out over a month with an elbow injury.
“We just gotta get healthy,” White told the media per Buccaneers.com. “I mean, we only lost two games this year. It ain’t like last time — I think we lost three in a row going into the bye.”
The Bucs have a bye for Week 9 before visiting the Washington Football Team in Week 10.