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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Key Bucs player could return earlier than expected?

Todd Bowles on the sideline

Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles looks on before a game against the Dallas Cowboysn at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are preparing to open their 2022 season against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, and one of their best players continues to trend in the right direction with his recovery from a major knee injury.

Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin was spotted at practice on Monday without a brace on his knee, according to multiple reports. He had worn the brace throughout training camp. Godwin was still wearing a non-contact jersey.

Godwin suffered a torn ACL and torn MCL in Week 15 last year. The Buccaneers still signed him to a three-year, $60 million extension this offseason, which was a strong indicator that they were not concerned about his long-term health. If he is able to play on Sunday, that means he will have made a full recovery in less than nine months.

Godwin had 98 receptions for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns last season. He ranked 11th in the NFL in catches despite missing the final three games of the year.

The Bucs appear as deep as ever heading into the season, as one of their bargain free agent signings also seems to be fitting in quite well. If Godwin is available in Week 1, they will be in even better shape than expected.

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