Injured WR Godwin back on practice field for Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin works with a blocking dummy during an NFL football training camp practice Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, in Tampa, Fla.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Seven months after undergoing knee surgery, Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Chris Godwin is back in pads on the practice field.

Godwin, who signed a three-year, $60 million contract in March, worked out in full uniform at training camp Friday — running and catching passes during individual drills, but not participating in team periods.

His return came on a day when quarterback Tom Brady missed practice because of what coach Todd Bowles described as an “excused absence.”

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The quarterback had a scheduled day off Wednesday, which was Brady’s 45th birthday. The entire team was off Thursday.

“We’ll let him do what he needs to do,” Bowles said. “If he’s back tomorrow, that’s great. But we’ll keep in touch, and we’ll monitor that.”

Godwin hadn’t joined the team on the practice field since December, when he was hurt during a home loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament, as well as the medial collateral ligament, in his right knee was performed the first week of January.

“Good seeing him out there running around, getting some individual work in,” Bowles said. “It’s always a plus when he’s in uniform.”

Bowles stressed there’s no timetable for Godwin to join full-squad work.

“We’re not going to rush him. We’re just glad to see him out there working right now,” the coach said. “As it goes on, we’ll see.”

Godwin finished with a career-best 98 receptions for 1,103 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games last season.

The 26-year-old receiver signed a new contract, which includes $40 million guaranteed, shortly after the Bucs placed the franchise tag on him for the second straight year.

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