- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 3, 2021

Mike Evans made history Sunday, becoming the first player to have 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first seven seasons. But in a game with little at stake for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing their starters might have backfired for coach Bruce Arians.

Evans surpassed the 1,000-yard mark, then injured his knee in the end zone. Evans found an opening in the end zone, but his knee twisted oddly as he went for the catch. He stayed down and was helped from the field.

Evans has 70 catches for 1,006 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. He had three catches for 46 yards against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday before exiting.

Tampa Bay already had a wild card slot locked up and didn’t have a chance to surpass the New Orleans Saints for the NFC South division title. A win would help the Buccaneers face the NFC East winner in the wild card round, which figures to be a more favorable matchup.

So Arians played his starters. And now it seems to have been a costly move, following the non-contact injury to Evans. Tampa Bay still has plenty of receiving talent, including Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin. But Evans is a standout red zone threat; his 13 scores are the fourth-most in the league this year.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide