Within the span of just a few minutes the Bucs saw Mike Evans leave with a leg injury, then Chris Godwin do the same, and finally Julio Jones follows.
Chris Godwin is playing just eight months after tearing the ACL and MCL in his right knee. He had been steadily progressing and trending in the right direction, but this was a quick return. Waiting until the nine months mark is ideal to reduce the risk of another knee injury or a compensatory injury, particularly a muscular strain (quad, hamstring, calf). Godwin made a nice catch near the sideline but limped off favoring that right leg. I don’t see any way he returns for the second half. He has looked good at times, but there’s too much risk here. It would be reckless for the Bucs to allow him to return.
Mike Evans was also seen on the sideline talking to Tom Brady after not returning during their last offensive drive. He’s dealing with a leg injury, but it’s unclear how severe it is. I didn’t see anything on video that looked too concerning.
Julio Jones also appeared to be injured after making a nice catch downfield. I am hoping he is more hurt than injured, meaning he would be able to return in the second half.
The Bucs offense has the potential to be one of the best in the league this year, but we knew going into the season that age was not on their side, and neither was injury history. That’s especially true for their receiving corp. Godwin was coming back from knee surgery, and Julio and Evans both have a concerning history of hamstring strains, including over the last few seasons. Hamstring injuries are highly recurrent, and they’re getting older. Not a good combination.