Mike Evans Ruled Out for Bucs vs. Panthers with Injury Suffered in Loss to Saints

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 24, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
AP Photo/Jason Behnken

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout Mike Evans will miss Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers, head coach Bruce Arians said Friday. 

Evans, 28, had been largely healthy to start the season, starting the Bucs' first 14 games. But he left last week's 9-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints with a hamstring pull, the same night that Chris Godwin suffered a torn ACL. 

While Godwin was a reception and yardage machine, Evans is the team's best deep threat, registering 64 receptions for 899 yards and 11 scores on the season. Down the field and in the red zone, Evans is a real problem for opposing defenses. 

He's one of Tom Brady's preferred targets and was a major reason why the Bucs won a Super Bowl last year. With Godwin already sidelined, the Bucs can't afford to be without him for long.

Tampa Bay still has solid weapons in Rob Gronkowski and Antonio Brown. None of them will replace Evans' overall impact in the passing game, however. 

Look for Breshad Perriman, Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller to play a bigger role in the passing game until Evans returns.