Buckle up, we have some drama brewing around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
While the team struggles to find ways to win on the field, Todd Bowles took a huge loss off it this week thanks to some comments he made about Chris Godwin and his usage. All of this stems from how the Bucs Pro Bowl receiver had exactly zero catches in Sunday's win over the Carolina Panthers, with his only big play coming from a run play.
Godwin was battling a neck injury, something that flared up earlier in the week and caused him to be added to the injury report. There was some doubt that he'd be able to play, but he was ultimately ruled a game time decision and cleared to start.
Bowles, based on his postgame comments, would have the world believe that Godwin didn't play much. Godwin was targeted just three times, something that was brought up while referencing the goose egg he laid in the receiving department.
It was that question, and Bowles response to it, that started drama that has extended beyond the field to now include Godwin's wife, Mariah.
What did Todd Bowles say to start all of this drama?
After the win on Sunday, Bowles was asked about Godwin's usage -- or lack thereof -- and gave a bit of a peculiar statement.
"We were subbing him out a lot," Bowles said. "Obviously he's a little nicked up, so he's not totally 100 percent. Nobody is, but he is probably banged up more than most."
Godwin's wife, Mariah, posted a response to that quote on Instagram essentially calling Bowles a liar but Bucs fans were already on the case before she said anything. Almost as soon as that quote came out, Bucs Twitter was ablaze with fans pointing to how Godwin played almost the same amount of snaps he normally does and wasn't subbed out more than usual.
What did Chris Godwin's wife say about Todd Bowles?
Here's where things get wild.
As Bucs fans were calling out Bowles on social media over how false his statement was, Mariah Godwin cooked the coach in her Instagram stories.
That IG story was ultimately deleted, but not before it caught fire and caused a bit of a stir. On Thursday, Mariah clarified her original statement in another long message. She didn't back down, rather she wanted to be clear that she's as frustrated as every other Bucs fan who wants to see Godwin used more.
"“Lots of people drawing conclusions of things that I didn’t say from what I posted yesterday, which is to be expected from the internet,” Mariah Godwin posted. “To be clear: My point was that I don’t like seeing Chris work so hard, even through injuries, and it be said that he was essentially only working part-time.- Mariah Godwin on IG
“That just wasn’t true so it was frustrating to see. And because of how he prides himself on working hard no matter what and not using injuries as an excuse, that felt like implying negativity on his work ethic.
“But I am hopeful and excited for the next game as I always am, and it’s alway ‘Go Bucs.’ That doesn’t change.”"
She's not wrong, nor is she saying anything Bucs fans haven't all week. If anything, the chorus growing so loud and hitting so close to home is notable. It's also impossible to not put this in the context of a head coach who is already on the hot seat now having to deal with something like this spiraling out of control.
What Bowles said didn't add up at the time, and it's not the first time he's given head-scratching statements after games. He defended Ryan Neal a week after sounding like he was calling him out, and has struggled to fully explain decisions like that strange field goal situation before halftime of the Buffalo game.
Bowles is already losing folks due to how things are going on the field, and this certainly isn't going to help his cause.
All of this can easily flip on Sunday, though. A good game by Godwin -- which everyone is now going to be looking for -- will go a long way in smoothing things over, while a win puts the Bucs back in first place.
Thus is a Bucs Life, where we spend all week being glued to chaos like this only to be oh-so-close to everything working itself out. Whether it does or not is where the ream drama lies.