Mike Evans Shares Reason for Absence From Bucs Workouts [Look]

Mike Evans

Getty Mike Evans missed OTAs last week as he and his wife, Ashli Dotson, welcomed their fourth child.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans didn’t participate in organized team activities last week, but he had a legitimate reason.

Evans and his wife, Ashli Dotson, welcomed their new daughter and fourth child, Aliyah Nicole, on May 18. The couple also has a son, Amari Thomas, and daughters Mackenzie and Ariah Lynn. Dotson shared baby photos on Instagram, which Bucs beat reporters re-shared with congratulations to Evans and Dotson.

The Bucs had OTAs for May 17-19 and again this from Tuesday, May 24, until Thursday, May 26. Evans didn’t appear in photos from Tuesday’s OTAs session, which was closed to the media.

Coming into his ninth season, Evans looks to extend an eight-year streak of 1,000-yard seasons, an NFL record. He tallied the most touchdowns in a single season for his career, 14, last season as quarterback Tom Brady led the league in passing.

The Bucs will need Evans more than ever this season with Chris Godwin out early on due to an ACL tear and changes to the receiver and tight end position groups.

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Ex-Bucs QB Doubts Evans’ Future

Despite Evans’ success, ex-Bucs quarterback Shaun King believes Evans’ play may dip in 2022.

“Mike Evans, I mean he’s still an elite receiver but he’s not in his prime,” King said on the “Cannon Fire Podcast” via JoeBucsFan.com.

Evans hasn’t racked up yardage as much lately, dipping from the 1,500s to the low 1,000s in the past four seasons. His average yards per catch dipped from 17-yard range to the 14-yard range in that span, too. However, Evans made three of his four career Pro Bowls since 2018, and his career highs for touchdowns came in 2020 and 2021.

JoeBucsFan.com disagreed with King’s take and noted that some receiving greats such as Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens maintained high levels of play after eight years. However, JoeBucsFan.com noted it’s not automatic as some greats such as Randy Moss and Michael Irvin did show decline.

[Evan’s] conditioning was at its peak entering last season, and his touchdown numbers have been phenomenal the past two seasons,” JoeBucsFan.com wrote. “Plus, he’s been taking cues from Tom Brady to extend his career.”

Evans Excited About Bucs Rookie Zyon McCollum

Evans got excited the moment the Bucs picked Sam Houston State’s Zyon McCollum in the NFL Draft last month because McCollum and Evans both come from Galveston, Texas, and played at Ball High School.

“Galveston, Texas. LFG! Congrats bro,” Evans wrote on Twitter.

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McCollum, whom the Bucs took in the fifth round of the draft, called Evans “an inspiration” for him.

“[Evans] is the type of player who paved the way for me coming out of Ball High,” McCollum told the media on April 30 via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “…He comes back to the school all the time, he throws a bunch of youth camps, plays pickup basketball with some of the students and everything. So just seeing him around Ball High, and then seeing his production and what he’s been able to do ever since he got put in the league, it’s always been an inspiration.”

Evans and McCollum connected on Twitter after the pick, Stroud noted.

Pro Sports Ownership Next for Evans?

While Evans’ playing days seem far from over, Evans expressed interest in owning a WNBA franchise in a tweet on May 10.

“Bring the Houston Comets back,” Evans wrote. “I love the WNBA. I’d be interested in ownership.”

The Comets were notably one of the WNBA’s original franchises, which included a four-year championship run from 1997 to 2000. Houston folded in 2008 when the WNBA couldn’t obtain a buyer.

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