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Sportress of Blogitude

Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Week 3 jersey arrives at Hall of Fame days after benching

The jersey Ryan Fitzpatrick wore when setting an NFL record in Week 3 arrived on Tuesday at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, a fitting tribute to how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback set the NFL on fire at the onset of the 2018 season.

Making the situation somewhat awkward, though, is how the 35-year-old journeyman signal-caller has already been benched in favor of Jameis Winston upon the latter’s return from suspension.

Fitzpatrick led the Bucs to a sterling 2-0 record before throwing three first-half interceptions in a Week 3 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers despite a furious second-half comeback. The “Fitzmagic” the quarterback enjoyed in the first few games of the season then completely lost any potency in Sunday’s 48-10 thrashing at the hands of the Chicago Bears.

So much so, in fact, that Fitzpatrick found himself back on the sideline as the Buccaneers replaced him with Winston.

On Monday, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter confirmed that Winston would indeed reclaim his starting job going forward, leaving Fitzpatrick again holding a clipboard.

The veteran quarterback is taking his demotion in stride, however.

“What I said to my dad after how Week 1 went, and Week 2 and Week 3, was basically… ‘I’m either gonna win the NFL MVP this year or I’ll be back at the bench at some point.’ That’s just the reality of the situation,” Fitzpatrick said, via ESPN. “I wish I could still be out there but that’s the way that it goes and I’ll accept my role.”

The classy manner in which Fitzpatrick took the high road is not surprising, especially after Winston did the same in lieu of the Bucs’ quarterback conundrum at the time when returning to the team last week.

It must be somewhat disappointing for Fitzpatrick to be relegated to backup duties again. That said, his mind-blowing performance in the NFL season’s first three weeks earned his jersey a spot in Canton. There are worse things.