NFL suspends Jameis Winston for 3 games

The NFL suspended Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston for the first three games of the season on Thursday.

The suspension stems from a seven-month investigation into allegations that Winston allegedly groped a female Uber driver in March 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Reports that the NFL was planning a three-game suspension first surfaced last week.

The 24-year-old quarterback will be suspended without pay for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, the league said in a statement.

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“First and foremost, I would like to say I’m sorry to the Uber driver for the position I put you in. It is uncharacteristic of me and I genuinely apologize,” Winston said in a statement obtained by the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. “In the past 2 1/2 years my life has been filled with experiences, opportunities and events that have helped me grow, mature and learn, including the fact that I have eliminated alcohol from my life.”

Winston also apologized to his teammates, the Buccaneers organization and fans.

“Although I am disappointed in the NFL’s decision, I understand the NFL’s process, and I embrace this as an opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to help me achieve the goals that I have for myself,” he said.

Winston had publicly denied the allegations in November.

The Buccaneers released their own statement on the suspension:

“All members of our organization are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with the Personal Conduct Policy of the NFL. We are disappointed that Jameis put himself in a position that has been found to violate the policy and accept today’s decision by the Commissioner.”

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The suspension will cause the fourth-year quarterback to miss the Buccaneers’ season opener on the road against the New Orleans Saints followed by two home games against the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Tampa Bay, which also has quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Griffin and Austin Allen on its roster, plays at the Chicago Bears in Week 4.