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Ryan Fitzpatrick: It’s “very ironic” first Bucs start comes against Jets

Tampa Buccaneers quarterback and career backup Ryan Fitzpatrick has a history of playing due to starting quarterback injuries.

The Buccaneers made the decision to sit down quarterback Jameis Winston for a couple of weeks in hopes that his right shoulder will heal and that means Ryan Fitzpatrick will get the start this Sunday.

As luck would have it, Fitzpatrick will be facing the team he played for in 2015 and 2016. The Jets will be in Tampa, which Fitzpatrick finds “very ironic” and an encapsulation of a career that he describes as a “never-ending rollercoaster.”

His two years with the Jets fit that definition. He took over as the starter after Geno Smith’s jaw was broken by then-teammate IK Enemkpali with a punch, led the Jets to the brink of the playoffs before flopping with a postseason berth on the line and then getting benched during a rancid 2016 season.

“I have really good memories,” Fitzpatrick told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “Obviously it was a tale of two years. My first year there we surprised a lot of people… In terms of the experiences I had and the experiences my family had living there and the people we met in that organization, I’ve got nothing but great things to say about them.”

Fitzpatrick’s history with the Jets offense won’t help the Bucs much on the preparation front as John Morton took over as offensive coordinator after Fitzpatrick left. With wide receiver Mike Evans suspended, they will likely have enough to focus on in terms of getting their own offense ready to go anyway.