The Tampa Bay Buccaneers got some good news on Friday, as wide receiver Chris Godwin returned to practice for the first time since tearing his ACL and MCL during the team’s Week 15 loss to the New Orleans Saints last season. Godwin was spotted early in the day at Bucs training camp by on-site reporters, who then took video of him participating in the team’s wide receiver drills.
NFL Network noted that Godwin’s participation in Friday’s practice put him “on schedule” in his return from injury, seemingly indicating that he is not necessarily going to be back on the field full-time sooner than previously expected. Godwin had surgery to repair the injury on Jan. 3, meaning it has been almost exactly seven months since he underwent the operation.
Godwin was not placed on the physically unable to perform list at the beginning of camp, signaling Tampa’s confidence that he would be able to get back to practicing during the early portion of camp. However, that does not necessarily mean he will be a full-go for the Buccaneers’ Week 1 game against the Dallas Cowboys (who, it should be noted, have a receiver of their own recovering from an ACL tear, though it seems like Michael Gallup is at least a few weeks behind Godwin).
Godwin seems like he should be able to avoid beginning the regular season on the PUP list, though, assuming he does not have any setbacks over the next few weeks. A return to the fold within the first month or so of the regular season seems realistic. The Bucs also have the luxury of being able to ease him back into the lineup, thanks to the presence of Mike Evans, as well as free-agent signings Russell Gage and Julio Jones.