The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have their star-studded offensive cast on the field Saturday when they take on the Washington Football Team.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and James Palmer reported that Mike Evans will play tonight, per sources informed of the situation.
Evans has been dealing with a knee injury all week, which he suffered in the season finale victory over Atlanta. The star wideout got in a limited practice on Thursday after not participating earlier in the week.
Having Evans on the field, even if he’s not 100 percent, is a huge boon for the Bucs on Super Wild Card Weekend. The 27-year-old set a new Buccaneers franchise record with 13 receiving TDs in 2020 — Evans held the previous high with 12 in two separate seasons. Evans also joined Randy Moss and Rob Gronkowski as the only players to have 12 or more receiving TDs thrown by Tom Brady in a season (Evans: 12 TD from Brady, one from Blaine Gabbert).
Just squeaking over the threshold before suffering the injury in Week 17, Evans is the only player in NFL history with 1,000-plus receiving yards in each of his first seven seasons — 1,006 in 2020.
Given that Evans won’t be 100 percent, it will be interesting to see how Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich deploy their top weaponry. We could see Antonio Brown with a larger role between the 20s with Evans as a red-zone weapon.
Against a stout Washington defense that ranked second in the NFL against the pass, having Evans available in any capacity could be the difference in Tampa pulling out a road victory.
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