The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost receiver Chris Godwin for the remainder of the season because of a torn ACL after he took a big hit to his knee in Sunday's loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said Monday that he thinks receivers need to be better protected and the NFL should do something about it, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.
"You can't hit anyone in the knees anymore except for receivers. Which doesn't make any sense to me," Brady said. "You can't hit a defensive lineman in the knees, you can't hit a punter in the knees, you can't hit a quarterback in the knees, you can't hit a DB in the knees except for allowing hits on defenseless receivers. It needs to be addressed and really thought out."
Brady knows firsthand how difficult it can be to recover from a devastating knee injury. The 44-year-old tore both his ACL and MCL in the 2008 season-opener and missed the rest of the year.
Brady went on to say that he believes receivers would prefer to get hit in the head instead of taking blows to their knees, and he prefers the same.
"It really impacts guys' careers and (Godwin), I know he'll overcome it. It's a tough rehab," Brady said. "You tear your ACL, that's a life-long injury. You know? And I'm sure almost every pass-catcher in the NFL would prefer a hit to the head over a hit to the knees. I certainly would. I'd take that a million out of a million."
Losing Godwin leaves Brady and Tampa Bay without their most consistent wideout. The high-volume receiver ranks third in the NFL with 98 receptions and fifth with 1,103 yards while adding five touchdowns.
The Buccaneers will likely rely heavily on three-time Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans, but he was also banged-up Sunday against the Saints. Evans suffered a hamstring strain and is considered questionable for Tampa Bay's Week 16 game against the Carolina Panthers.