Howard had a 30-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown in the first quarter, the Bucs' only score in the first half.
The second half took a heavy toll, too, with linebacker Adarius Glanton being carted off with a leg injury after colliding with defensive end Robert Ayers, saftey T.J. Ward evaluated for a concussion, and safety Justin Evans and wide receiver DeSean Jackson lost to ankle injuries.
Glanton's leg was placed in an air cast.
Tight end Cameron Brate also took a particularly hard hit from Falcons safety Ricardo Allen on a play that drew a personal foul for unnecessary roughness. He left the game with a knee injury but returned to start the second half.
Right guard J.R. Sweezy left with a lower leg injury that he sustained in the second quarter and did not return.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.