For the second straight year, O.J. Howard’s NFL season has come to an early end. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed the tight end on injured reserve on Tuesday after he suffered ankle and foot injuries during Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.
Howard got hurt in the fourth quarter when he was tackled by Giants strong safety Landon Collins at the end of a 24-yard pass play. Howard and Collins were teammates at Alabama.
Howard finishes the 2018 season with 34 receptions for 565 yards and five touchdowns in 10 games. Howard ranks third in receiving yards among the NFL’s tight ends this season.
Last season, Howard had 26 receptions for 432 yards and six touchdowns through 14 games when he went on injured reserve with an ankle injury sustained while scoring on a 30-yard pass against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 18.
Howard joined the Buccaneers from Alabama as the 19th player picked in the 2017 NFL Draft. Howard played for the Crimson Tide from 2013 through 2016 and earned the Offensive MVP Award in Alabama’s victory over Clemson in the CFP national-championship game for the 2015 season.
Howard prepped at Autauga Academy, where he was an All-State linebacker in 2010, the All-State athlete in 2011 and an All-State tight end and Under Armour All-American in 2012 for the Generals.
Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.