Buccaneers Receive Update on Mike Evans Injury

Mike Evans

Getty Mike Evans caught a touchdown in the opener at Dallas.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans wearing tape on his lower left leg at practice raised some concern on Wednesday, September 14.

ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported that Evans had tape on because of a calf injury but “sounds relatively minor”. Bucs head coach Todd Bowles downplayed any concern about Evans’ injury.

“Just part of playing,” Bowles told reporters on Wednesday.

Evans had a strong start to the season on Sunday, September 11, with five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. His one-handed touchdown grab turned into a sensation on social media.

The Bucs certainly will need Evans against the New Orleans Saints on September 18. New Orleans has the Bucs’ number with seven-consecutive regular season wins in the all-time series.

Despite being the go-to receiver with the Bucs, Evans hasn’t lit up the Saints’ secondary in recent meetings. He has nine receptions for 131 yards in the past five games against the Saints, including the 2021 playoff win.

Bowles: ‘We Don’t Have Any Excuses’

Bowles doesn’t want to call the Saints a rival, considering the Bucs’ seven-game regular season losing streak against the NFC South opponent.

Tampa Bay stumbled at New Orleans 36-27 with three turnovers and 11 penalties in October 2021. The Bucs also lost 9-0 at home in December 2021.

“It’s not crowd noise [at the Superdome]. They just beat us,” Bowles said. “We don’t have any excuses. We’ve got to go down there and play a better ball game.”

Bowles added that the Saints look “very physical” under new head coach Dennis Allen as the team did under longtime head coach Sean Payton. The Saints opened the season with a 27-26 comeback win led by former Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston. Bowles doesn’t consider familiarity with Winston an advantage.

“We play against ex-teammates all the time. It’s just understanding the scheme and trying to execute,” Bowles said.

Bucs Pro Bowl tackle Tristan Wirfs embraces Bowles’ assessment per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Wirfs added that mistakes have cost the Bucs in past games against the Saints.

“We definitely want to come out and put our best foot forward,” Wirfs said per Stroud. “One game it could be us shooting ourselves in the foot. Penalties. Or, next game, like, we get the penalties under control and give the ball to them.”

“It’s [about] honing everything in. Having good technique, good fundamentals and technique. Good attitude, good effort, and going out there and playing a tough game,” Wirfs added. “When we do, it’s going to be awesome.”

Chris Godwin, Donovan Smith Still Getting Healthy

Bowles didn’t have any updates on tackle Donovan Smith or wide receiver Chris Godwin, who didn’t practice on Wednesday after sustaining injuries against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Smith hyperextended an elbow, and Godwin sustained a hamstring injury.

“If Donovan can’t go, obviously Josh [Wells] is the next man up,” Bowles said. “We thought he stepped in and did a good job. There’s some things we can get better at there, but overall, he did a good job.”

Bucs rookie defensive back Zyon McCollum also sat out practice due to injury.

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