It turns out Sunday’s 9-0 loss to the Saints isn’t the most devastating moment of the week for the Bucs. On Monday, head coach Bruce Arians announced that wide receiver Chris Godwin is out for the year with a torn ACL. Godwin is currently playing on the franchise tag. He was expected to command top dollar this season as a free agent.
Earlier in the day, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport had reported that Godwin suffered an MCL sprain. Rapoport said that Godwin would miss the final three games, but be back for the playoffs. Turns out, Rapoport was way off the mark. Now Godwin will be up against it in terms of being ready for the 2022 regular season.
Before going down with injury, Godwin had already compiled a monster season. He led the team with 98 catches for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns. He’s a largely irreplaceable player in the Bucs scheme, due to his versatility as a weapon. Godwin has struggled with injuries however, missing time each of the past three seasons. However, most of those injuries have been short term issues.
“You feel bad for him because he was having such a great year,” Arians said. “And the type of hit it was. Totally legal, but I think that’s one of the things we’ve gotta look at in the offseason. We’re so concerned about hitting people in the head that we’re getting a lot of knee injuries now because of that type of tackle. But it is legal. It wasn’t a bad play at all. You just feel bad for Chris.”
Tampa Bay will get Antonio Brown back this week against the Panthers. Fellow star Mike Evans could also return from a strained hamstring. Breshad Perriman is currently on the COVID list, but could clear protocols by Sunday.