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Tom Brady on hit that cost Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin rest of season: 'Ought to take out of the game'

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense has its work cut out for it after being shut out by the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, but the Bucs will have to do it without Chris Godwin, who exited the game following a hit to the knee that resulted in a torn ACL.

The Bucs' leading receiver in catches (98), yards (1,103) and targets (127) will miss the remainder of the season. The play that led to his injury – he was hit low by Saints defensive back P.J. Williams on a catch over the middle – is one his quarterback thinks the league "ought to take out of the game, from a receiver's standpoint."

"It's not a cheap hit, because they're allowed to do it," Tom Brady said on his podcast "Let's Go" on Monday. "There needs to be a rule that forbids it, and therefore people understand the vulnerability of a pass-catcher in the act of receiving the ball and being hit."

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Brady said he's spoken to the NFL Players' Association about his feelings on receivers absorbing low hits. He wants to speak in front of the rules or competition committees about the matter.

Chris Godwin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates with teammate Tom Brady after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the New York Giants.
Chris Godwin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrates with teammate Tom Brady after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter against the New York Giants.

“I’ve seen that hit too many times where a defenseless pass catcher is in the process of catching the ball and he’s hit by the defender,” Brady said. “And a lot of defenders would say, ‘Well, we can’t hit him in the head anymore.’ Well, the point is, you can’t hit anybody in the head anymore. You can't hit anyone in the knees anymore – except the receivers, which doesn't make any sense to me.

"You can't hit a defensive lineman in the knees, you can't hit a punter in the knees, you can't hit a quarterback in the knees, you can't hit a (defensive back) in the knees – except for allowing hits on defenseless receivers. It needs to be addressed and really thought out."

Brady, now 44, tore his ACL (and MCL) in the 2008 season opener while with the New England Patriots. Godwin, who had five touchdowns this year, will be a free agent this offseason.

"Chris, I know he'll overcome it," he said. "It's a tough rehab, but you tear your ACL, that's a lifelong injury."

For pass-catchers or any other football players like himself, Brady said, they would prefer a hit to the head instead of the knee.

"I certainly would," he said. "I would take that a million over a million."

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tom Brady to NFL after losing Chris Godwin for year: Change the rule