Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl wide receiver Chris Godwin underwent a procedure Tuesday to have the 10 pins removed from his left index finger that he has played with the past four weeks, and did not practice Tuesday or Wednesday, coach Bruce Arians said.
Godwin suffered a broken finger making a touchdown catch against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 7 and missed just one game. He won't fully return to practicing until Friday.
"There's no way with that finger having the pins taken out I was gonna let the ball touch him," Arians said. "He went through walk-through and caught one upside down backwards but no, he's not gonna catch any balls 'til Friday.
"There's no chart for the toughness of Chris Godwin. If it goes to 10, throw it away and start over again because the dude plays. He had a mitt on his hand to protect his finger and he's catching balls in practice with that on. He's amazing and he's one of the toughest guys that I've coached."
Cornerback Jamel Dean has also officially cleared the concussion protocol, Arians said Wednesday, after returning to practice for the first time since suffering a concussion against the L.A. Rams in Week 11. The Bucs gave up three touchdowns to Tyreek Hill against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12 without Dean, their fastest cornerback. But now he's dealing with a groin injury.
"He cleared the protocol but he had a very, very sore groin so he did not practice today," Arians said of Dean. "Hopefully we'll get him healed up."
At 7-5, the Bucs are in a heated battle for a wild-card spot with four games left in the season. Among the teams also in contention for one of those wild-card spots: the 6-6 Minnesota Vikings, who come to town Sunday.