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.
In other Bucs injury new, Bucs coach Bruce Arians told reporters that Leonard Fournette(ankle) likely will be a game-time decision for Thursday's game against the Chicago Bears. The team's top four wide receivers Mike Evans (ankle), Chris Godwin (hamstring), Scott Miller (hip/groin) and Justin Watson (chest) sat out practice.
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.
Bucs running back Kenjon Barner, currently on the practice squad, has been suspended without pay for four games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, the league announced. Barner is eligible for reinstatement following the team's Week 8 game versus the Giants.
Here are other injury and roster news we're tracking on Tuesday:
- Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack (knee) was limited in practice on Tuesday, while defensive backs Deon Bush and Sherrick McManis did not practice with hamstring ailments.
- San Francisco 49ers cornerback K'Waun Williams has a somewhat rare ACL sprain, Rapoport reported, per a source. No surgery is required and if rehab goes well, he could be back in three weeks, Rapoport added. The Niners released veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu after three games, as well as tight end Charlie Taumoepeau from their practice squad. The 49ers are signing defensive lineman Alex Barrett to their 53-man roster for more depth in lieu of a rash of injuries in the DL corps, Rapoport reported. The team also worked out former Browns fan favorite WR Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi.
- 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.
- Dallas Cowboys center Joe Looney suffered a sprained MCL and will be out for an extended period, per the team site. Also, right tackle La'el Collins will indeed have hip surgery that will likely end his 2020 season. The Cowboys announced they have released defensive back Brandon Carr and offensive tackle Alex Light, signed offensive tackle Greg Senat to the active roster from the Browns' practice squad, and added offensive tackle William Sweet to their own practice squad. Carr, a 13-year veteran, returned to Dallas just before the season and appeared in three games.
- The Cleveland Browns placed wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge (hamstring) on injured reserve.
- The Atlanta Falcons announced safety Damontae Kazee, who was carted off during Monday's loss to the Packers, will miss the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles.
- The Denver Broncos announced they have signed defensive tackle Mike Purcell to a three-year extension. The deal is worth $14.8 million in total and 6.8 million guaranteed, Rapoport reported.
- The Cardinals promoted running back Jonathan Ward to the active roster from the practice squad and released safety Curtis Riley.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars signed safety Doug Middleton, released from the active roster Monday, to the practice squad.
- The Las Vegas Raiders placed defensive tackle Maurice Hurst on the reserve/COVID-19 list Tuesday, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported.
- Green Bay Packers tight end Josiah Deguara has a torn ACL and is out for the year, Rapoport reported, per a source informed.
- Carolina Panthers running back Reggie Bonnafon has been placed on the practice squad/injury list.
- New England wide receiver Isaiah Zuber has reverted back to the practice squad, the team announced.