The Buccaneers waived kicker Chandler Catanzaro on Monday and signed veteran kicker Cairo Santos to replace him, the team announced.
Coach Dirk Koetter announced his decision to stick with Fitzpatrick during his day-after-game news conference.
“We’re gonna go with Fitz this week … and that’s how it’s gonna stay,” said Koetter. When asked for how long, he responded, “Until we change.”
For the rest of the season?
“I don’t know. A guy could get hurt at any time,” Koetter said.
Fitzpatrick led the Bucs to a 2-1 record the first three weeks of the season, throwing for a league-high 1,230 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions.
The past two games, however, with Fitzpatrick replacing a struggling Jameis Winston, he has thrown four touchdowns and four interceptions — including two picks Sunday against the Redskins, forcing Koetter to contemplate a switch.
“I just think he still gives us the best opportunity right now,” said Koetter, who is also weighing his options for playcalling. Offensive coordinator Todd Monken called plays until Week 10, before Koetter decided to reclaim that role.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot. And I think Todd Monken has done a terrific job calling the plays — that’s why he’s continued to do it. But in this game, I just felt like the type of game it was going to, based on Washington’s offense, I thought we needed to try and control the clock a little bit more, try to give our defense maybe less time on the field, that maybe we needed to try to run it a little bit more and use our RPOs a little bit more,” Koetter said.
No decision has been made as to who will call plays for Tampa Bay’s Week 11 visit to the Giants.
As for Catanzaro, he missed field goals of 30 and 48 yards in the Bucs’ 16-3 loss to Washington on Sunday.
Catanzaro’s struggles have been well documented this season. He made 11 of 15 field goals (73.3 percent) — 31st in the league — and has missed four extra points (85.2 percent). He did, however, nail a 59-yard field goal in a 26-23 victory over the Cleveland Browns — the longest overtime field goal in NFL history.
The Bucs signed Catanzaro this offseason to a three-year deal worth $9.75 million, with $3.75 million guaranteed. The Bucs went through two kickers last season with Pat Murray and Nick Folk, who had beaten out Roberto Aguayo, a second-round draft pick by the organization in 2016.
The Buccaneers have had nine different kickers since 2009, which is tied with the Chargers for most in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Cairo will be the team’s 10th kicker, the most in the NFL during that time span.