Entering their Week 1 contest, the status of wide receiver Mike Evans was uncertain because of a hamstring injury. Evans ultimately suited up and although he was limited in practice on Wednesday, Evans is on track to be a full go in Sunday’s tilt against the Panthers.
Evans’ teammate, Chris Godwin, is a different story. Godwin took a big hit from Saints safety D.J. Swearinger on Sunday. The play resulted in a penalty but Godwin showed no signs of a concussion then or in the days after the contest.
“Chris Godwin is in the concussion protocol,” Arians said (via the Pewter Report). “[He] did not show any symptoms on Monday or Tuesday and then showed up today (Wednesday) with some so we’re going to be very, very cautious with that. Everyone else practiced.”
If Godwin, who had a breakout, Pro Bowl season in 2019, misses the contest, it could further open the door for Scotty Miller. Miller, who Brady previously said had his trust, saw six targets, catching five of them for 73 yards in the team’s opener.
Stat Shows Reason for Buccaneers Optimism
One loss doesn’t define a season and there’s optimism that things will turn around for Bucs. Brady has lost Week 1 as a starter on three other occasions in his career; each time, he went on to play in the Super Bowl that season.
Brady’s three Week 1 losses as a starter came in 2003 (Bills), 2014 (Dolphins), and 2017 (Chiefs). Brady’s Patriots went 2-for-3 in Super Bowls, losing at the end of the 2017 season to the Eagles in the big game.
After the Saints game, Bruce Arians was asked if he still believed that the Bucs could win the division, the coach responded with “Hell Yeah.”
Arians Expects More From Brady
The Buccaneers played Week 1 with low energy and Arians expects the team to play better in their home opener against the Panthers.
“It’s a situation where all that verbiage, when you’re under the gun, is different, and now you’re getting hit for the first time, too. It’s all different,” Arians said. “He’s had it before. He knows how to bounce back. He knew he didn’t play very well. It’s not what he expects from himself, nor do we expect. I would anticipate him to have a little more grit, a little more determination this week.”
While some have made the excuse that Brady and the Buccaneers haven’t had time together to get acclimated, Arians dismissed that notion.
“You can’t say that we weren’t in sync because we started out as good as you can start out, going right down the field. Then we don’t get any more chunk plays other than pass interference penalties. I think it’s a great learning experience. It’s just round one of a 16-round fight. And we’ll learn from it.”