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Chris Godwin, Julio Jones, Donovan Smith expected to play tonight vs. Chiefs: reports

This Bucs trio has been out since the opener against the Cowboys.
Receiver Chris Godwin has been out since the season opener at Dallas. He may return to the lineup tonight, with a few friends.
Receiver Chris Godwin has been out since the season opener at Dallas. He may return to the lineup tonight, with a few friends. [ MICHAEL AINSWORTH | AP ]
Published Oct. 2|Updated Oct. 2

TAMPA — Tom Brady and the Bucs should feel more like the team that beat the Chiefs in Super Bowl 55 tonight.

The Bucs expect receivers Chris Godwin (hamstring), Julio Jones (knee) and left tackle Donovan Smith (elbow) to play on Sunday Night Football, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeff Darlington and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Godwin and Jones, who were limited in practice all week and listed as questionable, will work out prior to tonight’s game to determine their status but the team is optimistic they will be in the lineup. Smith, who hyperextended his elbow in the season opener at Dallas, also was limited in practice this week but is expected to play.

The Bucs have scored three offensive touchdowns in 35 possessions ― excluding a kneel-down at New Orleans ― or one touchdown per game.

They have not scored a touchdown in the first half of any game this season.

For a franchise that averaged 29.9 points in 2021 and 30.8 in the Super Bowl season of 2020, this would have been unthinkable a few months ago.

Godwin had surgery to repair torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his knee on Jan. 3 but injured his hamstring in the season opener at Dallas. Jones reportedly is playing with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his knee he sustained against the Cowboys.

The Bucs elevated receiver Cole Beasley from the practice squad Saturday. Receiver Breshad Perriman (knee/hamstring) is doubtful and not expected to play.

As a result, Brady’s production has been down this season despite a 2-1 start. It is unusual to see him ranked so low with 673 passing yards (22nd), three TDs (tied for 19th) and an 89.2 quarterback rating (tied for 18th).

This story will be updated.

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