Buccaneers’ O.J. Howard feared to be out for the season with ruptured Achilles, coach Bruce Arians says

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were able to win their third-straight game in 2020 after defeating the Los Angeles Chargers, 38-31, at Raymond James Stadium, but they may have lost a key piece to the offense in the process. Head coach Bruce Arians noted postgame that the team fears tight end O.J. Howard — who left the game in the second half due to injury — has ruptured his Achilles and could be done for the year, Bucs writer Scott Smith reported.

Howard has been atop the tight end masthead to begin the year and enjoyed a productive day as a pass-catcher on Sunday, hauling in three passes from Tom Brady for 50 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown. Coming into this game, he had eight receptions on the year for 96 yards and another score. 

The 25-year-old is in the midst of his fourth season in the NFL after the Bucs selected him in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The club did exercise the fifth-year option on his contract, so he’ll be back for 2021 if, in fact, he is out for the year. 

The silver lining for Tampa Bay is that they are pretty deep at the position, also boasting Cameron Brate and Rob Gronkowski. While Gronkowski may have a history with Brady thanks to their days in New England, Brate may be the one elevated to starting status after catching a touchdown on Sunday. 

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