Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin appeared on a Zoom conference call with Bucs beat reporters on Tuesday, shrugging off a big hit he took to the head in the fourth quarter of Tampa Bay’s 34-23 loss at New Orleans, but didn’t feel well on Wednesday and entered the concussion protocol, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
Godwin missed practice on Wednesday, and according to Dr. David Chao, a former NFL head doctor with the San Diego Chargers for 17 years, orthopedic surgeon and a sports medical analyst for Sirius XM, Fox Sports Radio and Outkick.com, that’s not a good sign. In fact, Godwin’s delayed symptoms could mean he’ll miss Sunday’s game against Carolina – and possibly more action in the weeks to come.
In a recent article titled Bucs’ Chris Godwin To Miss Week 2 Home Opener Vs. Panthers, Maybe More on Outkick.com, Dr. Chao wrote:
“When there are delayed onset symptoms, it means the clearance to return to play will be delayed as well. The league protocol calls for a 5 step return to play protocol and there is no way anyone who has late symptoms on Wednesday can be cleared by the independent neuro by Sunday. The only slim hope is if it is determined that Godwin never had head injury symptoms at all but was placed in the protocol as an extreme precaution.”
Dr. Chao added:
“In my NFL experience, I have seen players placed in the protocol on game day and then found not to have a concussion, but it would be very unusual for a player placed into the protocol three days after the game to be deemed fine. Also, consider that late developing symptoms often are associated with multi-week absences before clearance.”
Dr. Chao, who is not affiliated with the Bucs organization, admits in the Outkick.com article that he hopes he is wrong about Godwin’s condition, and that sentiment is undoubtedly shared by Godwin, the team, and the Tampa Bay fan base.
Godwin led the Bucs with six catches for 79 yards last Sunday and drew a 3-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on safety D.J. Swearinger after hauling in a 9-yard catch on a pass from Tom Brady to convert a fourth-and-7 at the Saints’ 5-yard line. Mike Evans would score a 2-yard touchdown on the next play.
Here is video footage of the Swearinger hit on Godwin.
— PewterReport (@PewterReport) September 16, 2020
Scotty Miller, who had a career-high five catches for 73 yards and one carry for six yards, would start at wide receiver for Tampa Bay if Godwin can’t play on Sunday against Carolina.
For more NFL injury analysis, follow Dr. David Chao on Twitter at: @ProFootballDoc