Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Will no Chris Godwin be a problem?

Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing without their All-Pro receiver, Chris Godwin, in one of the most important games of their season.

The Carolina Panthers are far from one of the toughest opponents that the Buccaneers will play this season, but this game has massive implications for the rest of the 2020 NFL season for Tampa Bay.

Tom Brady and the Bucs almost predictably lost their season opener against the Saints, as New Orleans is one of the best teams in the NFL. Still, some question marks have started to surface around the viability of Tampa Bay making a playoff run.

After that first loss, the Bucs will be out for blood today, and winning has become more critical than ever. Carolina is one of the weaker teams in the division, and a win today is the bare minimum for making the playoffs.

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Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, their must-win game has just become that much more difficult, as they will be playing it without one of their best players. Chris Godwin is out for the time being due to the NFL concussion protocol, and the Bucs will have to plan accordingly.

Losing an All-Pro-caliber player is never anything to brush off for an NFL team, and Chris Godwin is no exception, but the Buccaneers are blessed to have a wealth of depth at the position.

Godwin was the leading receiver for Tampa Bay last week, but without him, they still have Mike Evans, Scotty Miller, and a wealth of tight end depth, meaning Brady will not be without numerous viable targets.

Godwin’s absence will hurt, but the Bucs should still air the ball out far more than last week, and the next man up mentality will be more important than ever. Justin Watson and Miller have shown some excellent upside and giving them an opportunity will help the Buccaneers down the road with depth.

It is hard to find a silver lining in an injury like this, but the development of depth is a justifiable upside, and there is also the possibility that Brady can get O.J. Howard and Rob Gronkowski more involved in the passing game, which should excite the fanbase.

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Tampa Bay is still the far better matchup in this game, even without Godwin, but it did become slightly more complicated. Division games are never a cakewalk, and the Bucs will need to be firing on all cylinders if they want to keep their playoffs hopes alive.