Coach Bruce Arians indicated Tuesday that Howard (Achilles) is "really close" to returning, James Palmer of NFL Network reports. Howard played just four games last season due to injury and racked up 11 catches for 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his brief campaign. Even when Howard is back in a full capacity, he'll have to contend with Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate for snaps at a loaded tight end spot for the Bucs.
Coach Bruce Arians indicated Tuesday that Howard is "real close" to completing his recovery from an Achilles injury, Scott Smith of the Buccaneers' official site reports. Per the report, Howard -- who suffered a ruptured Achilles last October -- isn't running on grass yet, but the 2017 first-rounder hasn't had any setbacks. With that in mind, Arians says "the sky's the limit" for Howard this coming season. Of course, with Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate also in the Buccaneers' tight end mix, steady volume figures to be an issue for Howard upon his return to game action.
Howard finished the 2020 regular season with 11 receptions (19 targets) for 146 yards and two touchdowns across four games before suffering his season-ending Achilles injury Week 4 against the Chargers. Howard's 2020 campaign will go down in the books as a prototypical case of a substantial missed opportunity for both player and team. The fourth-year pro appeared to have instant rapport with Tom Brady and had already been targeted 19 times over 132 snaps before going down for the season. The early exit was unfortunately nothing new for the 2017 first-round pick, who's yet to play a full 16 game slate in any of his first four NFL campaigns. Howard has flashed plenty of potential at times and could well have been on his way to a career-best year in 2020; while that possibility was ultimately derailed, he'll certainly have no shortage of motivation to prove himself in his 2021 contract year, when he'll carry a cap hit of just over $6 million as per Spotrac.
Howard (Achilles) will be placed on injured reserve, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports. This was expected after it was announced Sunday that Howard had suffered a ruptured Achilles. Howard had 11 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns before suffering the injury. Cameron Brate stands to pick up Howard's snaps the rest of the way.
Coach Bruce Arians said Howard suffered a ruptured Achilles during Sunday's 38-31 win against the Chargers, Greg Auman of The Athletic reports. Howard's fourth campaign will end precisely at the quarter mark of the season, leaving him with 11 catches (on 19 targets) for 146 yards and two touchdowns. The Buccaneers will forge ahead with Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate and Tanner Hudson at tight end.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/26||@Los Angeles Rams||8||6.33|
|4||10/03||@New England Patriots||6||6.13|
|8||10/31||@New Orleans Saints||18||7.56|
|10||11/14||@Washington Football Team||9||6.47|
|11||11/22||New York Giants||11||6.63|
|15||12/19||New Orleans Saints||18||7.56|
|17||01/02||@New York Jets||32||11.25|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||40||26||390||3||20||15.00||57|