Bad news got worse for Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Chris Godwin.
An MRI revealed that Godwin tore his ACL in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints and is done for the season.
“Chris has an ACL. And he’s done. He’ll be done for the season,” coach Bruce Arians said Monday, via NFL Network’s Sara Walsh.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Godwin also tore his MCL on the play.
Initial tests earlier in the day suggested Godwin had suffered an MCL injury that could have allowed the star receiver to return for the playoffs. But further imaging returned worse news.
Godwin’s season ends with 98 catches for 1,103 yards and five TDs.
The Bucs’ leading pass-catcher was playing on the franchise tag in 2021. Now he faces a grueling recovery ahead of free agency.
Tampa’s loss to the Saints dropped the Bucs (10-4) to the No. 3 seed in the conference, but they still hold a three-game lead in the NFC South.
The Bucs also lost receiver Mike Evans on Sunday night due to a hamstring injury, but Arians said he hopes to have the big-bodied wideout back soon.
“Don’t know when, but soon,” said Arians.
With Godwin out for the year and Evans nursing a hamstring injury, the Bucs plan to get Antonio Brown back after his three-game suspension for COVID-19 violations. Asked about his stance on Brown changing since he made his “one strike” proclamation regarding the WR, Arians said he’ll make the best decision for the team.
“I could give a s— what they think,” Arians said. “Only thing I care about is this football team and what’s best for us.”