Bucs' Justin Watson had knee surgery, out four months
Justin Watson had surgery on his knee and is expected to miss about four months as a result. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Buccaneers’ group of pass-catchers just got a bit thinner as they look to defend their Super Bowl title. Receiver Justin Watson had surgery on his knee and is expected to miss about four months, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.

That would explain why Tampa placed him on the PUP list earlier Saturday. Watson played a real role on last year’s Super Bowl team, playing about 15 percent of the offensive snaps while also contributing on special teams. He finished with only seven catches for 94 yards. The knee surgery was for a patella tendon injury, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM radio was told.

Meanwhile, Watson was “likely on the bubble already” for a roster spot, per Greg Auman of The Athletic. Now, however, Auman notes the wideout “could return in second half of the season for depth and special teams help.” If Schefter’s four-month timetable is accurate, that would put him on track to return sometime around Week 11.

The Bucs drafted Watson in the fifth round out of Penn back in 2018. He’s currently set to enter the final year of his rookie deal. His most productive season was in 2019, when he had 15 catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

This article first appeared on Pro Football Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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