The NFL has announced that Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will indeed miss the first three games of the 2018 regular season, as a result of a suspension arising under the Personal Conduct Policy.
“In November 2017, the NFL learned of an incident involving Winston and a shared-ride service driver that had taken place in March 2016 in Scottsdale, AZ,” the league said in a statement. “The incident, which had been immediately reported by the driver to her employer and which resulted in Winston’s removal from the ride-sharing platform, was also publicly reported last November.
“The league promptly initiated a comprehensive investigation that included interviews with several persons, including the driver, Winston and others with relevant information. The league also examined an extensive amount of other evidence, including telephone records, business records, data from electronic devices and other communications. Based on the investigation, the NFL found that Winston had violated the NFL Personal Conduct Policy, which allows for discipline to be imposed even when criminal charges are not presented.”
While the statement does not delve into the specifics, it explains that Winston “violated the Personal Conduct Policy by touching the driver in an inappropriate and sexual manner without her consent and that disciplinary action was necessary and appropriate.”
Winston has accepted the punishment and will not appeal, which fairly can be taken as an admission that he did what he was accused of doing. He will be eligible for training camp and the preseason. His suspension will commence following the preseason finale, and it will last until the day after the Week Three Monday night home game against the Steelers.