Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans appearing to casually sign an autograph after Week 7 loss is going viral.
Evans appeared to sign an autograph for a referee in the tunnel, which 1340 AM FOX Sports’ Sheena Quick caught on camera. The referee approached Evans with a small piece of paper to sign.
Evans often signs autographs for fans, which he did before the game on Sunday. Despite Sunday’s struggles, the four-time Pro Bowler is on track for a ninth-consecutive 1,000 yard season.
Evans Reacts to Dropped Ball
Evans’ wide-open bobbling dropped pass on a deep throw from quarterback Tom Brady encapsulated a miserable afternoon for the Bucs instead of six points in the first quarter. Evans dropped six passes overall in the Bucs’ 21-3 loss where issues abounded far beyond his connection with Brady.
“No one play is the sole reason you lose, but that was definitely the biggest reason,” Evans told reporters in the locker room afterward. “I’ve seen the life go out of us. It took me awhile to get back playing. We’re taught to play the next play, but it was tough. You know, wide open. One of the best in the game, I’ve got to catch that. I’ve got to get that.”
Despite the glaring drop and five other drops, Evans finished with nine catches for 96 yards, which included one clutch catch in traffic. Evans also appeared to play hobbled but didn’t leave the game.
Bucs head coach Todd Bowles didn’t have any further information on Evans afterward.
Russell Gage Dealing With a Hamstring Injury Again
Evans wasn’t the only Bucs receiver hobbled on Sunday.
Russell Gage hurt a hamstring again and left the field during the game. Bowles didn’t have an update on Gage afterward.
Gage previously hurt a hamstring during training camp, and it has been a problem in the regular season thus far. He finished with four receptions for 39 yards, but his most notable play came on a drop inside the 10-yard line, which could have helped the Bucs get a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Bucs Lose Antoine Winfield Jr. to a Concussion
Tampa Bay also sustained a key injury on defense in the loss as safety Antoine Winfield Jr. sustained a concussion and left the game. Bowles confirmed after the Winfield entered concussion protocol.
Winfield had been one the Bucs’ more productive defensive backs this season with 32 tackles, one forced fumble, and interception, and a pass deflection. The Bucs likely won’t have Winfield for the Week 8 game against Baltimore (4-3) on Thursday, October 27 due to concussion protocol.
Bucs Shuffling at Guard
Besides adjusted the personnel amid injuries on Sunday, the Bucs sat rookie guard Luke Goedeke for part of the game and played Nick Leverette instead. Goedeke has struggled all season, and he has a 38.2 grade by Pro Football Focus.
“Leverett earned some playing time,” Bowles said. “We wanted to change the pace a little bit and give Luke a little bit of a break. They were tight going into training camp, so we wanted to give the guy some reps.”
Goedeke “had a boot on his right foot after the game” according to Greg Auman of The Athletic, but Bowles said injury didn’t play a role in Leverett playing for him.