Oct 4, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard (80) catches a touchdown pass over Los Angeles Chargers outside linebacker Kyzir White (44) in the third quarter of a NFL game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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Bucs fear torn Achilles for TE Howard

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard is believed to have suffered a season-ending torn Achilles tendon on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, head coach Bruce Arians announced after the game.

Howard had three receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown before he left the game in the second half. Tampa Bay went on to win 38-31 as Tom Brady connected with five different players, including Howard, for receiving scores.

The 25-year-old Howard is in his fourth season with Tampa Bay, which selected him in the first round (No. 19 overall) out of Alabama in 2017. He has 105 receptions for 1,602 yards and 14 touchdowns with the Bucs.

The absence of Howard could increase the importance of Rob Gronkowski in the Tampa Bay passing game. Gronkowski had one catch for 29 yards on Sunday, giving him nine receptions for 88 yards on the season.

–Field Level Media

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