ATLANTA – Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will start against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday for the first time since his three-game suspension.

Winston said Thursday despite getting blown out by the Chicago Bears last month, it was important for him to get back on the field in the second half of the game.

“I think it was critical to get my feet wet in that situation, and that was a great defense too,” Winston said.

On Sunday, Winston will take over for Ryan Fitzpatrick, who helped guide the team to a 2-2 start.

"I've got to do my best to take advantage of this opportunity," Winston said.

Head Coach Dirk Koetter said he was pleased with Winston going 16-of-20 passing against Chicago, but said it was "too small of a sample size" to see if there's an improvement from last season.

Winston – who was born in Bessemer, Alabama – said he was excited to play in front of his family on Sunday. Bessemer is about a 2.5-hour drive from Atlanta.

"Going back to Atlanta is like a home game for me. That's how I view it," Winston said. "All my family, they come up, they show up and hopefully I show out for them."

Kickoff between the Bucs and Falcons is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday. FOX will broadcast the game.

Related: 'I enjoy being out there' | Bucs' Ryan Fitzpatrick will miss the field but support Winston

Previous: Jameis Winston will be the Buccaneers' starting quarterback in Week 6

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