Chris Godwin is back in pads.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver took the practice field Friday for the first time since tearing his ACL late last season. Godwin wore a brace on his surgically repaired knee as he participated in individual position drills and received passes.
"Its good to see him out there," said coach Todd Bowles, who said Godwin is a long way from returning to a full routine. "We're not getting our hopes up."
The veteran's presence on Friday suggests a recovery timeline that's ahead of schedule based on when he sustained the knee injury (Dec. 19), which included a torn MCL. Tampa expected Godwin back during training camp by keeping off the physically unable to perform list. The club's confidence in his recovery was furthered this offseason with a new three-year, $60 million contract.
While Godwin's presence was reassuring, Bucs WR Mike Evans left Friday's practice early. Bowles said he may have tweaked his hamstring, which seems to be a reoccurring issue during camp for the veteran. Bowles also announced that Tom Brady was excused from Friday's practice but couldn't guarantee the quarterback's return for Saturday.
- HC Kliff Kingsbury said the team hopes QB Kyler Murray will be able to practice Saturday after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
- Kingsbury also said TE Maxx Williams (knee) was activated off PUP ahead of schedule. " don't think any of us anticipated us doing it," Kingsbury said, per ESPN.com.
- G Jalen Mayfield did not practice due to a lower back injury, per head coach Arthur Smith.
- TE Drew Sample is expected to miss a couple of weeks due to a left knee injury, per head coach Zac Tayor. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that it sounds like an MCL sprain.
- Safety Darnell Savage left practice Friday night with a hamstring injury, but head coach Matt LaFleur said he did not believe there was any concern it would be a long-term injury.
- LB Tre Walker has decided to retire from football, coach Ron Rivera announced to reporters on Friday. Walker was an undrafted free agent out of Idaho.
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