While Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin would step up in place of injured fellow receiver Mike Evans, there’s one role Godwin doesn’t want on Wild Card Saturday at Washington.
“I would not want to be the one telling Mike that he can’t go,” Godwin said with a laugh in Tuesday’s press conference. “It’s going to have to take some real convincing to convince him of that. I think at the end of the day, Mike’s going to do what’s best for him.”
“I’m sure he’s going to do whatever he can to be out there,” Godwin said of Evans. “Either way, whoever’s out there, we’ve got to be ready to go.”
Evans began pool workouts on Monday and could practice on Thursday, Arians said at Monday’s press conference. Thursday’s practice will largely determine if Evans can play in Saturday’s playoff game, NFL Network’s James Palmer reported via Twitter.
Star wide receiver Antonio Brown came to Tampa for a situation such as Evans’ knee injury as Arians alluded to in October after signing the former Pro Bowler.
Brown made a difference against the Falcons in the regular season finale on Sunday, a 44-27 victory. He caught 11 passes for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
“That was not only impressive, but it was something that we as players kind of expect from a guy like him,” Godwin said. “He’s done it for so long. To see him get his feet back under him as the season progressed and get more and more comfortable in the offense and playing again is really awesome to see.”
Godwin added that he wants to learn from Brown’s playoff experience, too, in getting ready for his first career playoff game. Brown last played in the postseason in 2018 when he came back from injury before the divisional round per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
“He’s performed really well in those scenarios,” Godwin said. “At the end of the day, we’ve got to out there, (and) we’ve got to be ready to play. There’s not much anyone can really tell you to prepare for you for it.”
Brown heads into the playoffs with 483 yards and four touchdowns on 45 catches in just eight games this season.
Facing Defense in D.C.
Despite Washington’s losing record (7-9), the Bucs (11-5) can’t look past the NFC East champion’s second-ranked defense.
“They have a really talented front seven, and they really get after the quarterback,” Godwin said. “I think as an offense, it’s going to really be our job to make sure that we control them, make sure that we’re on our Ps and Qs with our protection, (and) make sure that our routes are on point. Because if you allow them to get after your quarterback and really disrupt the game, they’ll really do that.”
Godwin added that the Bucs offense grew from its ups and downs this season and “we’re much better for it.” Since mid-December, the Bucs have averaged 40.6 points per game.
“I think we’re playing really good football right now. We’ve just got to continue it,” Godwin said.