Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Chris Godwin, Mike Evans leave Buccaneers’ Sunday night game vs. Saints with injuries

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin was forced to leave the team’s Week 15 game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night, with an apparent knee injury. Wide receiver Mike Evans later left the game as well, with an apparent hamstring injury. Buccaneers PR announced Evans as doubtful to return and Godwin as questionable.  

The broadcast did not appear to show a specific play on which Evans was injured, but the NBC broadcast reported that Evans came to the sideline and indicated that his hamstring was bothering him, then came back on the field for another play, at the conclusion of which he was visibly frustrated and threw his gloves to the fans. It was at that point that the Bucs announced his injury.

Godwin caught a third-down pass over the middle of the field early in the second quarter, and was immediately tackled by Saints cornerback P.J. Williams. Williams went with a low hit on Godwin, appearing to hit the receiver directly in the knee. Replays showed Godwin’s knee bending in an awkward direction, and he remained down on the field through a TV timeout. 

Godwin was eventually able to stand up and walk off the field under his own power, but he was immediately taken into the blue medical tent on the sideline for further evaluation. He was replaced in the lineup on the following drive by Scotty Miller. Jaelon Darden joined Miller and Tyler Johnson on the field in three wide receiver sets, with Evans also out.

Godwin was at one point seen outside the tent, jogging along the sideline, seemingly testing out the knee. The NBC broadcast reported that Godwin was attempting to sprint, cut, and change directions, while discussing with trainers whether or not he would come back into the game. 

Godwin, 25, has been Tom Brady’s top target this season. He entered the Sunday night game with 92 catches, second in the NFL behind only Cooper Kupp. He also had 1,054 receiving yards and five touchdowns. He is playing on the franchise tag this season, and could potentially hit free agency for the first time this winter. 

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