Monday, December 11, 2017
  • Bucs Beat
  • Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bucs rookie Chris Godwin stepped up in Evans’ absence

Bucs rookie Chris Godwin had big shoes to fill on Sunday, stepping in for his first career NFL start while Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans was suspended.

But Godwin came up big, with career highs of five catches for 68 yards, helping set up two field goals in the second half of Tampa Bay's 15-10 win over the Jets.

"I had the opportunity to step into a bigger role was able to take advantage of it," said Godwin, a third-round pick from Penn State. "Any time I go out there, my main goal is to help the team in any facet of the game."

Godwin had exactly one catch in each of the previous five games, none for even 10 yards, but was counted on for a much bigger role Sunday. After only one catch for 7 yards in the first half, the Bucs went to Godwin on the first two plays of the third quarter, with catches of 16 and 12 yards to set up a go-ahead field goal.

When the Bucs recovered a fumble late in the third quarter, still up just 6-3, they again went to Godwin right away, with a 20-yard catch that put them in position for another field goal.

"Chris played spectacular today," QB Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "He made some nice, tough catches … we needed him to step up with Mike being out. He's such a talented guy that maybe gets lost a little bit in the shuffle because of how many weapons we have … it was nice to see him step up today."

And when they needed one more play to seal the win, Godwin was on the field for the Jets' onsides kick in the final minute, making one last catch to secure the ball and clinch a much-needed win for his team, making it his favorite catch of the day.

"One hundred percent," he said. "That way, we secured the game."

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