Howard broke loose for a 75-yard touchdown down the left sideline in the latter stages of the second quarter, snapping a 7-7 deadlock in the process. The second-year tight end continues to be the featured player at his position in the early going, as Cameron Brate has yet to catch a pass through two games. The 23-year-old has brought in five of six targets for 150 yards through his first pair of games, with a catch of over 30 yards in each contest. He'll look to continue his stellar start versus the Steelers in Week 3.
The second-year tight end and Cameron Brate both saw just two targets apiece, but Howard came up with both of his while Brate was held without a catch. Both players were significantly out paced by the starting receiver duo of Mike Evans, who received 12 looks between them and parlayed them into a combined 293 yards. The natural week-to-week fluctuation of the game plan will see the tight end serve as more of a focal point of the offensive attack on occasion, but it was nevertheless encouraging to see Howard involved offensively to some degree in a downfield capacity. He'll look to build on Sunday's effort against the Eagles in Week 2.
After failing to see a target in last week's preseason opener versus the Dolphins, Howard received looks from both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston, although both of his catches came off the arm of the latter. The second-year tight end outsnapped position mate Cameron Brate by a 31-13 margin on offense, but the two are expected to have a fairly even playing time split in 2018, especially with the Bucs' high usage of two-TE sets. Howard should be in for another heavy workload against the Vikings in next Friday's third preseason game.
The second-year player was lauded by head coach Dirk Koetter after practice, with Howard's long touchdown reception from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick representing the tight end's top highlight of the day. In addition to Howard's pass-catching contributions, Vitali notes that the 23-year-old has looked improved as a blocker. The 2017 first-round pick is slated to once again share time with Cameron Brate at tight end this season, although the Bucs are expected to get Howard more involved as a downfield threat than he was during his rookie season.
Howard is slated to catch passes from backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for the first three games of the 2018 regular season in the wake of Jameis Winston's expected suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports.
The development may not be as gloomy for Howard's fantasy prospects as might appear at first blush. After all, the second-year tight end brought in six of eight targets for 104 yards and a touchdown with Fitzpatrick at the helm in Weeks 11 and 12 last season, with the veteran quarterback favoring him over position mate Cameron Brate in those contests. Moreover, Howard's considerable physical talent -- as well as a greater knowledge of both head coach Dirk Koetter's offense and opposing defenses in Year 2 -- should be of great benefit to him irrespective of who's under center this coming season.
|4||9/30/18||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 5|
|6||10/14/18||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|8||10/28/18||@ CIN||1:00 pm|
|9||11/4/18||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|11||11/18/18||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|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||2||2||5||150||30.0||75||1||3||1||4|
|2017||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||1||1.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|2018||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||2||0||0.0||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||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|