Virtually a 12 months has handed since Bucs broad receiver Chris Godwin suffered a season-ending knee damage in opposition to the Saints on Sunday Evening Soccer. On Dec. 19, 2021, New Orleans beat Tampa Bay 9-0 to comb the Bucs for a 3rd straight 12 months.
It was a physique bag sport for the Bucs, because the Saints actually knocked Godwin, broad receiver Mike Evans and working again Leonard Fournette out of the sport. With out these weapons, Tampa Bay couldn’t rating a degree.
It’s been a protracted street again for Godwin in rehabbing his torn ACL and rounding again into type. It’s taken virtually a 12 months, however Godwin has appeared – and performed – like his outdated self within the Bucs’ final two video games.
In a 21-16 win over Seattle in Germany and within the final sport in opposition to Cleveland, a 23-17 additional time loss, Godwin appeared like a $20 million man. He caught six passes for 71 yards and his first landing of the season in opposition to the Seahawks and added one other in opposition to the Browns. Godwin additionally had his first 100-yard sport of 2022, catching 12 of 13 targets for 110 yards.
Quarterback Tom Brady is thrilled that Godwin is again to being his outdated self because the Bucs want him for a crucial stretch run.
“Tremendous joyful for him and happy with him to get again so far,” Brady mentioned. “I believe it’s a really robust damage to undergo, ACL reconstruction. And a contact one like that, it’s lots of bodily rehab, I believe there’s lots of psychological rehab to undergo as effectively. I can simply inform his confidence in how he’s feeling, he does a lot for us when he’s on the market. The man’s a winner, he’s a clutch participant, he comes up massive in each second.
“You all the time realize it’s going to take a while even if you get again to really feel like your self. I’ve had that have the place yeah, you’re on the market, however it doesn’t really feel fairly such as you had a full offseason to arrange. You have been rehabbing, you weren’t, I’d say, performance-enhancement coaching. You have been rehabbing. There’s a distinction. So, you’ve acquired to get to that time the place okay, now you’re again to simply making an attempt to be a greater soccer participant, to not be rehabbing. Chris has labored actually exhausting. Everybody believes in Chris, loves him and is so joyful when he has success. He deserves it.”
Bucs WR Godwin Faces Saints For The First Time Since His Harm
After sitting out the preseason and most of coaching camp, Godwin was in a position to go well with up for the Bucs of their 19-3 street win at Dallas to kick off the 2022 season. However he suffered a hamstring damage within the win after catching three passes for 35 yards in opposition to the Cowboys that precipitated him to overlook the subsequent two video games at New Orleans and in opposition to Inexperienced Bay.
Monday night time would be the first time Godwin has confronted the workforce that prematurely ended his 2021 marketing campaign. Godwin had six catches for 49 yards – within the first quarter – earlier than Saints security P.J. Williams went low and took out Godwin’s proper knee final December. Williams is out – mockingly with a knee damage – and gained’t face Godwin and the Bucs on Monday Evening Soccer.
Godwin leads the Bucs with 60 catches, however his 585 receiving yards ranks second on the workforce to Mike Evans’ 702 yards. Godwin’s gradual restoration all through the season has restricted his means to separate and get yards after the catch. He’s averaging simply 9.8 yards per reception, which is the bottom mark of his profession. Godwin averaged 11.3 yards per catch final 12 months and had a 12.9-yard common in serving to the Bucs win a Tremendous Bowl in 2020.
Whereas it hasn’t been the season that Godwin and the Bucs hoped it might be for his or her new $20 million man, the sixth-year receiver did make Bucs historical past by shifting as much as No. 2 on the all-time receiving yards checklist behind Mike Evans. Godwin moved previous Mark Provider (5,018 yards) and now has 5,228 receiving yards heading into the Saints sport. Evans simply hit 10,000 profession receiving yards (10,003) in final week’s loss at Cleveland.
Tampa Bay (5-6) enters the Monday Evening Soccer conflict in opposition to New Orleans (4-8) with a lead within the division because of Atlanta’s (5-8) loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday. The Bucs nonetheless have a stable probability to win the NFC South and get an computerized playoff berth. After all, a win over the division rival Saints can be an enormous step in the precise course for the Bucs towards that postseason objective.
And it might be candy revenge for Godwin within the course of.