What started as a joke during Jameis Winston’s historic 30-touchdown, 30-interception season has become a reality.
Winston was actually the one to initially trigger speculation that he was undergoing LASIK surgery, posting a picture of himself wearing the large, dark glasses associated with the procedure on his Instagram story last week.
Winston was the one to make the decision to go under the laser, not the team, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
Such a procedure comes after Winston entered NFL infamy by becoming the first player in NFL history to enter the infamous 30-30 club last season. He also led the league in passing with 5,109 yards in one of the oddest quarterback seasons in recent memory.
Since Florida State, Winston has refused to wear contact lenses on field
Winston’s eyesight has been a storyline following the former No. 1 overall pick since his days at Florida State, when his distinct squinting started catching eyes during games.
According to the Times, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said last season that Winston’s vision is in the range where “he can’t read the scoreboard but he can see the guys in front of him.”
During his Florida State days, then-head coach Jimbo Fisher said that Winston does not like to wear contact lenses during games because they can get loose or knocked out due to the violent nature of the sport, and that his vision wasn’t bad enough to be an issue beyond needing to squint to see play cards on the sideline.
Funnily enough, Winston actually wore contacts while playing baseball, but that is obviously a completely different ballgame.
Will LASIK magically fix Winston’s problems?
At the very least, the procedure can’t make things much worse for the quarterback’s interception problems.
Since he entered the league in 2015, Winston has thrown by far the most picks in the NFL with 88, 12 more than No. 2 Philip Rivers’ 76. Those issues clearly hit their peak last year, which prompted plenty of speculation that the time has come for the Bucs to move on from their franchise quarterback.
Instead, the Buccaneers are reportedly bringing back Winston in 2020, be it the franchise tag, the transition tag or some other mechanism. That gives Winston one more year to show the good definitively outweighs the bad with him.
Having better vision should be a good change for Winston, but he that can’t be the only change he makes this offseason. LASIK might make the numbers clearer for Winston, but it can’t fix mental mistakes or misfires.
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