As much as Buccaneers fans would love to see star wide receiver Chris Godwin suit up for opening day, it’s important that they keep their eye on the prize and a sense of perspective about the season.
After tearing his ACL last season, it was expected that Godwin would not return to the field until closer to the halfway point of this season. To everyone’s surprise, the wide receiver is back on the field, obviously still not as full speed or with any contact, but an accomplishment nonetheless.
With a little over a month until the start of the season, it would be ideal if Godwin could be there for the first game, but that would be foolish. Even if Godwin “can play,” the Bucs coaching staff would be foolish to do it that quickly for three reasons:
First off, Godwin did not break a pinkie-he tore his ACL, which is a major injury that, if not healed completely, can tear again even easier. Considering the Bucs just re-signed him to a multi-year deal, they would be wise to protect that investment by ensuring he is as healthy as humanly possible before returning.
Second, the Bucs have plenty of firepower without him. The team obviously has Mike Evans, who is more than capable of shouldering the load for a few games, but that isn’t all. With the acquisition of wide receivers Julio Jones and Russell Gage during this last offseason, not to mention tight-end Kyle Rudolph, who is a massive 6’6 target for Tom Brady, the team will have plenty of receiving targets without Godwin.
Lastly, out of the first three games the team plays, two of those games are against powerhouse teams in the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. As much as people want to win every game, it’s a long season, and those games are not incredibly important in the long run.
The competitor in Godwin will of course want to be out there, but it is going to be far more important for Chris Godwin to be there for the team during the stretch than during the early-season bragging rights games.
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