Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians didn’t mince words when asked if it hurt not winning the NFC South at home last night. “It hurts more losing all the players we lost. We lost about seven starters in this game, so I’m more concerned about that right now,” said Arians following yesterday’s loss to the Saints.
One of those seven injured starters was WR Mike Evans, who left late in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. There is no clear play where Evans aggravated the injury as of yet, however it has been something he’s dealt with in the past.
Back in 2015, Evans missed Tampa Bay’s season opener with hamstring issues. Then, in 2019 he landed on the IR with the same injury, missing the team’s final three games of the season. In the past, wide receivers who suffer from recurring hamstring injuries see them get progressively worse if not addressed and treated (ie. Julio Jones).
There are reports that Tampa believes Evans’ stain is a Grade 1 (mild), which is good news considering his history. From a medical perspective it is still in his best interest to go slow in his recovery. The Buccaneers have all but guaranteed the NFC South title and will require Green Bay to lose two of their remaining three games if Tampa Bay wants the #1 seed, which is unlikely to happen.
The Buccaneers will face Carolina twice in the next three weeks, and the Jets once; all of which should be easy wins. In that case Evans should rest as much as he can. The risk of reinjury on hamstrings is high, especially on route runners like him.
On the year Evans has 64 catches, 899 yards, and 11 TD’s while averaging 14 yards per catch.