Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said after Sunday’s loss to the Saints that keeping receiver Antonio Brown and safety Mike Edwards even after their three-game suspensions is in the best interest of the team.
Part of the reason why is Tampa Bay’s offense suffered a few key injuries during that game, at least one of which is likely to keep a player out for the rest of the regular season.
Per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, receiver Chris Godwin suffered an MCL sprain that is expected to keep him out for the rest of the regular season. Rapoport adds that Godwin is a candidate for injured reserve, given that there are only three games left, and should be able to return for the postseason.
But according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, the club has not made a decision as to whether or not to place him on IR. If he’s not added to the list, the Buccaneers will deactivate him on gameday until he’s healthy to play.
Godwin took a hard hit to his right knee after making a 5-yard catch early in the second quarter. He was initially announced as questionable to return and then downgraded to out at the start of the second half.
Godwin has 98 receptions for 1,103 yards with five touchdowns this season. He’s also rushed for 21 yards and a TD.
Receiver Mike Evans and running back Leonard Fournette also suffered injuries that took them out of the 9-0 loss.