The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be searching for their second of back-to-back championships in the 2021 NFL, but first, they need to focus on the remainder of the offseason. The Buccaneers kicked off their training camp on Sunday, however, there was one player who was notably absent from the field: O.J. Howard.
This news is concerning for Tampa Bay as the fifth-year tight end continues to recover from a season-ending Achilles injury that he suffered in Week 4 last year. Even if the team did win Super Bowl 55 without him, it doesn't change the fact he's still a valuable piece of the offense.
O.J. Howard Injury Update
According to WebMD, the typical recovery time for a torn Achilles is about four to six months, with total recovery not happening until the one-year mark. Considering how his injury happened at the beginning of October, it's understandable that the Buccaneers would hold back on his return until they're certain that his body can handle the NFL grind.
Howard recorded 11 receptions for 146 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns before his season-ending injury in 2020. Had he continued playing at that pace, he would've likely finished around the 500-yard mark that he normally hits.
Even if Howard needs some extra time to recover, the Buccaneers will still be one of the most dangerous teams in the NFL. They have no shortage of tight ends as they still have Cameron Brate and Rob Gronkowski on the roster. That's not even to mention the other talented pass-catchers, like Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, that Tampa Bay has in its fold. In other words, the offense should be fine with or without Howard.
The Buccaneers have +650 odds to win Super Bowl 56, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, which only has them trailing the Kansas City Chiefs at +500.
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