Why the Bucs are Making a Mistake with Chris Godwin

Chris Godwin is NOT starting the preseason on the PUP list. You might think that’s a good sign – his knee is feeling great and he’s ready to go! But medically this just doesn’t make sense.

Godwin suffered a torn ACL late in the season and underwent surgery in early January. That’s when the clock starts on his recovery (not when the injury occurred). We often hear that athletes are “ahead of schedule” and feeling 100% healthy around six months pos-surgery, but in reality it takes much longer to truly get back to full health. Hitting the nine month mark is also crucial for long-term health. The risk of re-tearing that ACL is significantly higher when a player returns before nine months, and Godwin has two more months until he reaches that point.

Because Godwin isn’t on the PUP list, he is able to practice when the Bucs report to training camp. I don’t mind him going through football drills, but he shouldn’t be allowed to play in a game until 9 months. The PUP rules have changed this year – when a player is placed on the reserve/PUP list to start the season, they only have to miss four games (it was previously six). But a player can only be placed on the reserve/PUP list if they start the preseason on PUP. It can’t happen after an athlete has practiced. That tells me the Bucs aren’t planning to sit him for the first month of the season.

It’s not just the ACL that’s a concern. Godwin will also be at an increased risk of lower body muscular strains. Muscular atrophy occurs following surgery, and it takes a lot of time to get back to full strength. That leaves the hamstring, quad and groin more susceptible to a strain. According to our algorithm, Godwin’s Injury Risk sits at 45%, which is very High.

The Buccaneers have the talent to make a deep run this year, but Godwin’s health could make the road to the playoffs much harder if he can’t stay healthy because he returned too soon.

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