Before Godwin had the surgery on his fractured left index finger this past Tuesday, doctors told the Buccaneers that the Pro Bowler would be sidelined four to six weeks, according to a source.
But once doctors put pins in his finger, they adjusted their projections to one to two weeks, according to a source, leaving open the possibility that Godwin could return against New Orleans.
The Bucs have already ruled Godwin out for their Monday night game against the New York Giants. Godwin suffered the injury on a fourth-quarter touchdown catch from Tom Brady in Tampa Bay’s victory last Sunday against the Las Vegas Raiders.
Godwin ran wind sprints Friday with a cast on his hand.
“He was just staying in shape and running,” coach Bruce Arians said Friday. “… We won’t know more until next week.”
Had Godwin missed an extended period of time, the Bucs would have leaned even harder on newly signed receiver Antonio Brown, who was a model of good behavior in his first week around the team, according to a source.
The source told ESPN that Brown’s politeness, energy and work ethic have been noticeable to all, and that he is anxious to recast his image and reputation.
Godwin, who finished with 1,333 receiving yards last season, has been haunted by injuries this year. He missed Week 2 with a concussion and Weeks 4-5 with a hamstring injury.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine contributed to this report.