The Buccaneers hope to be the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since the 2003 and 2004 Patriots. They’ll have to do it with a depleted receiving corps.
The Bucs have lost two of their top three wide receivers in the last month. The most notable departure was that of Antonio Brown. The troubled receiver was released by the Buccaneers after he walked off the field midway through the game in Week 17 against the Jets amid a dispute with the coaching staff.
However, just a couple of weeks before that happened, the Bucs lost Chris Godwin to a knee injury against the Saints. While there was initially hope that Godwin might return to the team during the postseason, that hope was quickly dashed.
Now, the Bucs will have to rely on several safeties beyond Mike Evans to carry the load and provide Tom Brady with additional pass-catching weapons.
What happened to Chris Godwin? Here’s a full breakdown of his injury and when Buccaneers fans — or fans of another team — might see him back in action.
How long will Chris Godwin be out?
Initially, it was feared that Godwin had suffered a sprained MCL, which would have sidelined him for between one and eight weeks, depending on its severity. However, an MRI revealed that Godwin suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The average recovery time for a torn ACL is six to nine months. As such, Godwin will not return during the 2022 NFL playoffs, even if the Buccaneers make it to the Super Bowl.
That said, since Godwin suffered the injury on Dec. 19, he should get a chance to play in Week 1 next season, as a projected nine-month recovery schedule would take him to Sept. 19, 2022. So, while He doesn’t have a setback and is progressing well through rehab, Godwin should be healthy enough to play early next season.
That will be important to Godwin. The future free agent is looking to cash in on his first lucrative long-term NFL deal, and his availability will be key to getting it done. The fact that he can play in Week 1 should make a lot of teams interested in paying him, even despite his serious injury.
What is Chris Godwin’s injury?
Godwin suffered a torn ACL during the Buccaneers’ 9-0 loss to the Saints in Week 15. The veteran receiver was crossing down the middle early in the second quarter and attempted to catch a Tom Brady throw when safety PJ Williams crossed and hit. Low Godwin. Godwin’s knee hyperextends and he walks off the field.
Godwin was initially considered questionable to return, but the Buccaneers ruled him out after halftime. It was later revealed that he had suffered a torn ACL and was ruled out for the season.
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Chris Godwin injury timeline
: Godwin firsts suffers the injury in the game Bucs vs. Saint’s. He leaves the field under his own power and is seen running on the sidelines after his return is deemed questionable. He is later declared out after halftime.
: NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Buccaneers believe Godwin “didn’t have a major injury” and that he had a sprained MCL. That would sideline him for a while, but give him a chance to come back during the playoffs.
: Rapoport reports that Godwin is expected to miss rest of regular season with suspected MCL sprain. This is pending some MRI images.
: MRI returns to Godwin “worse than expected”, according to Rapport. He has a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season. He will have the opportunity to return in early 2022 if all goes well.