Howard (ankle) is still wearing a hard cast but expects to recover from his injury within 4-to-6 weeks, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
While his own estimate needs to be taken with a grain of salt, Howard might have avoided injured reserve if the Buccaneers had still been in the playoff hunt. As is, he'll set his sights toward a full recovery before the start of the team's offseason program in April, hoping to build on a breakout 2018 campaign in which he produced 56.5 yards per game while averaging 16.6 per catch and 11.8 per target. The Bucs would be wise to give him more than 4.8 targets per game next season, potentially parting ways with Cameron Brate, Adam Humphries and/or DeSean Jackson to ensure that happens.
Howard (ankle) will not require surgery for his ankle and foot injuries that will force him to injured reserve, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
Howard's 2018 season is over regardless of whether or not Howard needs surgery, but it at least bodes well in terms of the extent of rehab required to return to form. The second-year tight end had come into his own this season prior to the injury, racking up 34 catches for 565 yards and five touchdowns over 10 games. Without him available moving forward, Cameron Brate figures to slot in as the team's primary tight end.
Per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Howard sustained the two injuries on the same play during Sunday's 38-35 loss to the Giants. The 24-year-old will finish the campaign on IR for the second time in as many years, providing an disappointing conclusion to what was shaping up to be a breakout season. The Buccaneers will look to Cameron Brate to serve as the primary replacement at tight end for Howard, who had recorded 34 receptions for 565 yards and five scores in 10 games.
Howard (ankle) received good news Monday and is now getting a second opinion, Greg Auman of The Athletic reports.
The decision to get another medical opinion usually hints at a significant injury, but Howard may just be exercising caution to confirm the initial optimistic diagnosis. He was removed in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 38-35 loss to the Giants, finishing with five catches for 78 yards on six targets. An absence for Week 12 against the 49ers would leave Cameron Brate with a prominent role catching passes from reappointed starter Jameis Winston.
Howard (ankle) will be evaluated Monday after exiting Sunday's 38-35 loss to the Giants in the fourth quarter, Eduardo Encina of The Tampa Bay Times reports.
Howard was deemed doubtful to return and never reentered the game, finishing with five catches for 78 yards on six targets. He suffered an MCL sprain back in Week 4 against the Bears, but a conveniently timed bye in Week 5 allowed him to avoid any absences from games. Howard won't have the extra rest this time around, as the Buccaneers host the 49ers on Sunday in Week 12. Cameron Brate could be looking at a three-down role if Howard doesn't play.
|15||12/16/18||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ DAL||1:00 pm|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||14||26||432||16.6||58||6||9||1||19|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||8||34||565||16.6||75||5||11||1||28|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||3||2||0||1||0||0||1||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||10||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|