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Bucs' Chris Godwin Out for Season After Knee Injury Diagnosed as Torn ACL

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 20, 2021

TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 12: Chris Godwin #14 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers adjusts his helmet prior to a game against the Buffalo Bills at Raymond James Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians confirmed to reporters Monday that wide receiver Chris Godwin will miss the remainder of the season after he was diagnosed with a torn ACL.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @Buccaneers

We're wishing you a speedy recovery, <a href="https://twitter.com/CGtwelve_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CGtwelve_</a> ๐Ÿ™ <a href="https://t.co/KNi8yi3oK6">pic.twitter.com/KNi8yi3oK6</a>

Earlier in the day, Ian Rapoport reported Godwin, who was injured in Sunday night's 9-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints, had a sprained MCL and  "should" return in time for the playoffs.

Godwin was off to a terrific start against the Saints with six catches for 49 yards before leaving the game early in the second quarter.

Fellow wideout Mike Evans and running back Leonard Fournette also left the game because of injuries, leaving the Bucs' offense severely depleted by the game's end. It helps explain why a Tom Brady-led offense was shut out for the first time in 15 years.

Tampa Bay is on the brink of clinching a postseason berth with a 10-4 record, but the injuries are a major hit to its chances of finishing with the NFC's top seed. The Green Bay Packers (11-3) currently hold the top spot.

The Buccaneers offense will get reinforcements in Week 16 as Antonio Brown returns from a three-game suspension. Head coach Bruce Arians confirmed Brown and safety Mike Edwards, who were suspended for misrepresenting their COVID-19 vaccination status, will be welcomed back after previously leaving their statuses up in the air.

"It's in the best interest of our football team," Arians told reporters. "Both of those guys have served their time, and we'll welcome them back."

Prior to the injury, Godwin was having a standout year. He had set a new career high with 98 receptions, which ranks third in the NFL, to go along with 1,103 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games.

Next up for the reigning champs is a road game against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.