O.J. Howard’s fourth NFL season is over after four games.
An MRI confirmed Howard tore his Achilles tendon, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, ending Howard’s 2020 campaign. The team placed him on injured reserve and promoted receiver Cyril Grayson to the active roster in a corresponding move.
Howard suffered the injury early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Chargers when he ran an angle route toward the end zone, stumbling after cutting toward the inside. Running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn caught a pass for a touchdown on the play, while Howard left the game and did not return.
Howard caught 11 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns in his first season playing alongside quarterback Tom Brady in an offense that is stocked with weapons but is fighting through its own share of injuries. Veteran and fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski hasn’t been much of a factor, and neither has Cameron Brate, but each are capable of picking up the slack left by Howard’s departure.
Tampa Bay currently sits atop the NFC South after winning three straight games following a season-opening loss to division rival New Orleans. The Buccaneers and Saints meet again in Week 9 in Tampa.
Here are other injury and roster news we’re tracking on Tuesday:
- San Francisco 49ers cornerback K’Waun Williams has a somewhat rare ACL sprain, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source. No surgery is required and if rehab goes well, he could be back in three weeks, Rapoport added.
- Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said wide receiver Diontae Johnson, who has been sidelined since Week 3, is out of the concussion protocol and will be full-go ahead of Sunday’s game against the Eagles.
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