TAMPA — The latest bye week in the NFL couldn’t come soon enough for a couple of Bucs starters.
Receiver Chris Godwin, who had surgery on a broken left index finger Oct. 27, underwent a procedure to have pins removed from that fracture Tuesday morning.
In addition, starting cornerback Jamel Dean, who missed the most recent game against the Chiefs due to a concussion, has cleared protocol.
It’s welcome news for the Bucs, who have had a host of players struggling with minor injuries.
Godwin, who was injured making a touchdown reception in a win over the Raiders on Oct. 25, managed to play through that painful injury thanks to a customized splint and glove on his left hand. He missed the Giants game on Nov. 2 and has had 24 receptions for 283 yards and one touchdown in four games since.
“There’s no chart for the toughness of Chris Godwin,” Bucs coach Bruce Arians said. “If it goes to 10, the only way is to start over again. He plays, he had that mitt on his hand to protect his finger and he’s catching balls in practice with that on. He’s amazing. He’s one of the toughest guys that I’ve coached.”
Dean sustained a concussion in the Bucs’ 27-24 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 23.
With Dean out of the lineup, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes passed for 462 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-24 Kansas City win.
The Bucs returned from the bye week Tuesday and began preparations for Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.