Sat, 01 Oct 2022

Updates: Bucs Won't Rush Chris Godwin Back

Buccaneers
10 Aug 2022, 19:26 GMT+10

Tampa Bay BuccaneersKeep informed with our daily updates: news, notes and more throughout the Bucs offseason Chris Godwin

#14 WR

Height: 6-1Weight: 208 lbsCollege: Penn State

August 9 Updates

When Chris Godwin was not put on the active/PUP list to start training camp, it generated hope that he was ahead of schedule in his return from last December's knee injury. When he returned to practice last week in limited fashion, it raised the possibility that, contrary to popular wisdom, Godwin could be ready to go for the start of the regular season.

And that may be the case. When the Buccaneers take on the Dallas Cowboys on September 11, Godwin may be in uniform. However, the team will not force the issue to get that outcome. The Bucs continue to take the long view when it comes to Godwin, who signed a new three-year deal with the team in March after first receiving the franchise tag.

"No, he doesn't have to be ready," said Head Coach Todd Bowles on Tuesday. "We want him for the long haul. We don't want him running around, looking good and then getting hurt. We're going through all the protocols and doing all the little things for him, and it's good to see him in pads, but he's got some tests to pass and some ways to go. We're not rushing him by no means. We just want him healthy for the long haul. Once we get down the road and make that determination, we'll go from there. But there's not a fast way to have him ready for the season."

Godwin has been taking part in individual drills but otherwise working on a separate field with trainers during full-team drills. Bowles does not have a timetable for when Godwin will take the next step and start going up against defenders.

"The trainers and the strength coach will let us know when that determines," said Bowles. "It all depends on how he feels after practice and after lifting and everything. If he keeps feeling good it will progress to that. I can't give you an exact date but we'll know when they say something."

CLICK HERE to hear the rest of Coach Bowles' post-practice remarks.

Luke Goedeke

#67 G

Height: 6-5Weight: 312 lbsCollege: Central Michigan

August 7 Updates

The Buccaneers are searching for a new starter at left guard following the retirement of Pro Bowler Ali Marpet in February and have spent the first two weeks of training camp looking at several candidates. Aaron Stinnie, Nick Leverett and Brandon Walton have all spent time at that spot with the first-team line while rookie second-rounder Luke Goedeke has primarily worked with the second line. Assistant Head Coach/Run Game Coordinator Harold Goodwin likes what he's seen from the group as a whole and sees the competition as still being wide open.

"The beautiful thing about it, it's fun to watch because you think about it, you've got all these guys that actually get a shot to win a job," said Goodwin. "Usually when you come to camp it's pretty much solidified but to have three or four guys rotate in and try to give it their best every day, I like watching that. At some point I've got to put my foot down and just go ahead and pick a guy so we can build that communication with Donnie [Smith], build that communication with Hainsey at the center spot. But I like to watch it. Those guys care, those guys compete and they help each other out. At the end of the day they all want to win that job, but at a certain point here I've just got to go ahead and pick a guy. But they're all doing a nice job right now."

Goodwin said the Bucs don't have a specific target date for picking a starter but did throw out a potential timetable for the decision.

"Not really. I'm thinking somewhere before the third preseason game. Just kind of go ahead and lock it down and get it over with. But right now it's wide open in my opinion. I might even try to put a helmet on and some shoulder pads and give it a try myself. We'll see how it goes."

CLICK HERE to watch Goodwin's entire post-practice briefing.

Mike Evans

#13 WR

Height: 6-5Weight: 231 lbsCollege: Texas A&M

August 6 Updates

Wide receiver Mike Evans was unable to finish Friday's practice, leaving during the penultimate drill after catching a deep pass and then pulling up short. After practice but before he had visited the training room to check on Evans, Head Coach Todd Bowles suspected Evans had tweaked one of his hamstrings.

Evans did not practice on Saturday but he may not be sidelined for long, according to Bowles.

"He's sore," said Bowles. "He's day-to-day. He'll be fine, it's just a matter of when we put him out there."

Wide receiver Chris Godwin participated in individual drills for the second day in a row but still did not join in full-team periods. There is no set timetable for that next step in his return from a knee injury suffered last December.

Luke Goedeke

#67 G

Height: 6-5Weight: 312 lbsCollege: Central Michigan

August 5 Updates

In the lead-up to training camp, it was presumed that the primary competitors in the battle to replace the retired Ali Marpet at left guard would be veteran Aaron Stinnie and second-round rookie Luke Goedeke. Stinnie has indeed worked with the first-team line in several practices but he has split those duties not with Goedeke but with second-year player Nick Leverett and first-year man Brandon Walton. Leverett worked with the first team on Friday, just as he had on Wednesday, while Goedeke took second-team reps, with Stinnie at right guard. However, Head Coach Todd Bowles said after practice that Goedeke was still in the running for the starting spot.

"He still gets in the mix," said Bowles. "The other guys have been here. Experience-wise, as we install, they kind of know it already. It's good for Luke to see somebody do it before he does it, rather than just go out there and just make a mistake that way. We're getting the older guys in there some that's been here. As he gets experience he'll play a lot. It's still an open competition."

CLICK HERE for Coach Bowles' additional post-practice remarks.

Chris Godwin

#14 WR

Height: 6-1Weight: 208 lbsCollege: Penn State

For the first time since he tore an ACL in a game against New Orleans on December 19, wide receiver Chris Godwin is back in action with his teammates.

The Buccaneers returned to work on Friday morning after a players' day off on Thursday and Godwin was on the field, in pads and in the mix during early-practice drills. He wore a brace on his surgically-repaired knee but took part in individual position drills and got the first rep, along with Mike Evans, when the quarterbacks began throwing passes to the wideouts. More information on Godwin's status will be provided after the conclusion of practice.

CLICK HERE for more on Godwin's return as well as an apparent injury suffered by Mike Evans on Friday..

August 3 Updates

The Buccaneers may not have a deeper position on their 2022 training camp depth chart, and that means they will have to make some difficult decisions when it comes time to trim the roster to the regular-season limit of 53.

"It's going to be tough," said Head Coach Todd Bowles after Wednesday's practice. "It's going to be tough. That's why we have the practices. They're going to play in the games. We're going to get to see them, not just once, we're going to see them twice. We're going to see them a lot in the practices that we have against [the Dolphins and Titans] and in the preseason games, and we'll look up and see. But there's a lot of talent that position, not just the four that we have but all the other guys too, but we have to see how it shakes out."

The first four spots are likely to be occupied by returning stars Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and newcomers Russell Gage and Julio Jones. The competition for the other two - or possibly three - spots is crowded with the likes of Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, Jaelon Darden, Cyril Grayson, Breshad Perriman and a handful of intriguing rookies. One player from among that group who has impressed Bowles with his progress is Darden, a 2021 fourth-round draft pick who was primarily a return man as a rookie.

"I really like what Darden's doing right now," said Bowles. "His approach all offseason has been outstanding. He works hard, he keeps his head down and he plays ball."

CLICK HERE for more of Todd Bowles thoughts on training camp developments.

August 2 Updates

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers encountered their steamiest day of practice in training camp so far on Tuesday, with the humidity level sitting around 75% and the feels-like temperature approaching triple digits. Head Coach Todd Bowles responded to the rising heat index by making the built-in water breaks longer, but he may make some further adjustments over the next two weeks of training camp. The Buccaneers have a state-of-the-art indoor facility next to their practice fields, which is a perfect fallback for stormy days but also potentially a place to escape from the heat on occasion.

"We'll probably have some inside," said Bowles. "We have some [practices] that we talked about wanting to go inside on some. But just getting them out here early, getting used to the pads and getting used to the heat, and getting some extra conditioning was important."

CLICK HERE to hear all of Coach Bowles' post-practice thoughts.

Tristan Wirfs

#78 T

Height: 6-5Weight: 320 lbsCollege: Iowa

Sigh of relief.

All-Pro right tackle Tristan Wirfs left practice before the conclusion of the final drill on the schedule, which was an unwelcome sight, particularly in light of last week's loss of Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen to a practice-field knee injury. Wirfs was escorted into the training room on a cart driven by former Head Coach Bruce Arians. Fortunately, as Head Coach Todd Bowles reported after practice, Wirfs was merely dealing with cramps on what was the hottest day of training camp so far.

CLICK HERE for more thoughts from Todd Bowles on training camp so far.

Don Gardner

#36 CB

Height: 6-1Weight: 180 lbsCollege: South Dakota State

August 1 Updates

Buccaneers players had the day off on Sunday but rookie cornerback Don Gardner got some good news when he was activated from the active/physically unable to perform list. That meant Gardner could immediately return to practice, which he did on Monday morning. The Buccaneers now have no players on their 90-man camp roster on a reserve list of any kind, though the team is still awaiting the final word on center Ryan Jensen's knee injury.

CLICK HERE for more on Gardner and his activation.

Ryan Jensen

#66 C

Height: 6-4Weight: 319 lbsCollege: Colorado State-Pueblo

July 29 Updates

The Buccaneers still do not have a complete prognosis for Ryan Jensen following the knee injury he suffered in practice on Thursday, but they do it is severe enough to keep him out for at least a major portion of the season.

"Don't know the severity of it, per se, but I do know he'll miss some significant time, up to a couple of months," said Head Coach Todd Bowles after Friday's practice. "Whether he'll be back later in the season, November or December, that depends on what they find in the knee, but he won't be available anytime soon."

CLICK HERE to hear more of Bowles' thoughts on Jensen and the Bucs' center position.

Brandon Walton

#73 T

Height: 6-5Weight: 300 lbsCollege: Florida Atlantic

Aaron Stinnie and Luke Goedeke are widely considered the frontrunners in the competition to replace Ali Marpet at left guard, particularly since Ryan Jensen's significant knee injury has pulled some of other competitors over to the pivot. It may indeed come down to Stinnie and Goedeke, but in the meantime the Bucs are going to cast a wide net to see who might fit well at the position. On Friday, first-year man Brandon Walton, listed on the Bucs' roster as an offensive tackle, got a shot to take some first-team reps at right guard. Said Head Coach Todd Bowles on the former Florida Atlantic standout:

"Well, we're mixing it up right now. He's tough and it's a wide-open spot. We've just got to pick and choose our spots, who to put in there and get a significant amount of time so we can see everybody and make an educated decision. But he's tough, he comes to work every day, he's in early. He has good technique, he has a lot of strength, so it's going to be a fight."

CLICK HERE to hear more of Bowles' thoughts on Friday's practice and recent developments.

Sadarius Hutcherson

#61 G

Height: 6-3Weight: 321 lbsCollege: South Carolina

For the first time since he suffered a season-ending knee injury in a preseason game against the Bengals last August 14, guard Sadarius Hutcherson participated in a practice on Friday morning. Hutcherson began the Buccaneers' 2022 training camp on the active/PUP list but was taken off that list just three days into camp practices. Pro Bowl center Ryan Jensen suffered a knee injury in practice on Thursday and will be very difficult to replace for whatever amount of time he is unavailable. From the basic standpoint of snap shares, however, the Buccaneers do maintain the same number of interior linemen for practices moving forward with Hutcherson back in the mix.

CLICK HERE for more on Hutcherson's status and other Friday moves.

Sterling Hofrichter

#6 P

Height: 5-10Weight: 196 lbsCollege: Syracuse

The Buccaneers signed tight end Kyle Rudolph two days before training camp and had a deal in place with wide receiver Julio Jones before the practice, but the first real in-camp roster moves took place on Friday. The team added a tight end to the mix in former North Carolina wide receiver Bug Howard, making the depth chart seven men strong at that position. Howard has been in a number of NFL camps previously and made the switch from receiver to tight end while playing in the short-lived AAF in 2019. To make room for Howard on the roster, the Buccaneers waived their second-string punter, Sterling Hofrichter.

CLICK HERE for more on Friday's roster moves.

Ryan Jensen

#66 C

Height: 6-4Weight: 319 lbsCollege: Colorado State-Pueblo

July 28 Updates

Ryan Jensen, the Buccaneers' Pro Bowl center, was carted off the field during the final period of Thursday's training camp practice after sustaining what Head Coach Todd Bowles later revealed to be a knee injury. The team does not expect to have a clear idea of how much time Jensen will miss for a couple days, as it will take time to administer and receive the results of tests on his knee. Second-year man Robert Hainsey stepped in with the starting line after Jensen left the field.

CLICK HERE for more on Jensen's injury.

Lavonte David

#54 ILB

Height: 6-1Weight: 233 lbsCollege: Nebraska

July 27 Updates

Inside linebacker Lavonte David, who finished the 2021 season on an injured knee that had him playing at - by his estimation - about 60% capacity, was full-go when the Buccaneers held their first 2022 training camp practice on Wednesday. Afterward, he declared that he was back to 100% healthy and completely unlimited on the practice field. Others who had come to camp with potential injury concerns but were able to practice without issue on Wednesday include safety Antoine Winfield, Jr., kicker Ryan Succop, inside linebacker Grant Stuard and wide receiver Russell Gage.

CLICK HERE for more on the Buccaneers' nearly clean bill of health at the start of camp.

The Buccaneers officially signed veteran wide receiver Julio Jones on Wednesday morning, with pen put to paper at the same time his new teammates were on the practice field for the first workout of training camp. Jones came out to the field as a spectator and later talked about his desire to join Tom Brady and the Buccaneers and chase a championship.

CLICK HERE for more on Jones' first day with the Buccaneers.

Codey McElroy

#86 TE

Height: 6-6Weight: 258 lbsCollege: Southeastern Oklahoma State

July 26 Updates

A day after adding a seventh tight end to the training camp roster, the Buccaneers trimmed that position back down to six by waiving first-year man Codey McElroy with an injury designation. McElroy has spent much of the past two-and-a-half seasons on Tampa Bay's practice squad but also appeared in three regular-season games over that span, recording one catch.

CLICK HERE for more on Tuesday's roster move.

July 25 Updates

The Buccaneers added some much-needed experience and pass-catching prowess to their tight end room on Monday, signing 12th-year veteran Kyle Rudolph. A former second-round pick out of Notre Dame, Rudolph spent 11 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings before signing with the New York Jets last year. His career totals include 479 catches for 4,745 yards and 49 touchdowns. Rudolph joins holdover Cam Brate as the veteran leaders of an otherwise very young tight end group.

CLICK HERE for a more detailed look at the Bucs' new addition at tight end.

Cade Otton

#88 TE

Height: 6-5Weight: 247 lbsCollege: Washington

July 24 Updates

The Buccaneers completed the necessary contract work on their 2022 draft class on Sunday when they inked fourth-round tight end Cade Otton to a four-year deal. All eight of the Buccaneers draft selections now have their deals in place and will be able to start training camp on time. Otton, who sat out spring practices while completing his recovery from ankle surgery, is expected to be cleared for action when camp begins on Wednesday.

CLICK HERE for more on the Cade Otton signing.

Logan Hall

#90 DL

Height: 6-6Weight: 283 lbsCollege: Houston

July 23 Updates

Defensive lineman Logan Hall, the Buccaneers' top pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, signed his first NFL contract on Saturday shortly after reporting for the pre-camp 'QB School.' Hall received the standard four-year deal that all players selected after the first round of the draft get. Tampa Bay nabbed the former Houston standout with the first pick of the second round (33rd overall) after trading down from their original spot at number 27 in the first round.

CLICK HERE for a more detailed look at Hall and his new contract.

Sadarius Hutcherson

#61 G

Height: 6-3Weight: 321 lbsCollege: South Carolina

Prior to the start of the Bucs' pre-training camp 'QB School,' which also involved rookies and some first-year players, the Buccaneers placed two players - first-year guard Sadarius Hutcherson and undrafted rookie cornerback Don Gardner - the active/physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Neither player is ready to begin practicing yet due to pre-existing injuries. While on the active/PUP list, players do count against the 90-man camp limit, and they can come off that list and return to practice at any time. Using the active/PUP designation preserves the team's option to put those players on reserve/PUP before the start of the regular season, if necessary.

CLICK HERE for more on the Bucs' pre-camp roster moves.

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