Buccaneers' Mike Evans Placed on COVID List; WR Currently Out with Hamstring Injury

Erin WalshDecember 27, 2021

TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 12: Mike Evans #13 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Raymond James Stadium on December 12, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Monday that they have placed wide receiver Mike Evans on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Evans had already been out with a hamstring injury suffered against the New Orleans Saints in Week 15. He missed a Week 16 win over the Carolina Panthers because of the ailment.

Evans has been one of Tom Brady's top targets this season, recording 64 catches for 899 yards and 11 touchdowns in 14 games. He has become even more important to the team's offense over the last several weeks after Chris Godwin was ruled out for the season with a torn ACL.

The 28-year-old has also been one of the most productive wide receivers since entering the NFL in 2014. He began his career with seven straight seasons of 1,000-plus yards, though it's unclear if he'll reach the mark this year given the time he's missed because of injury.

In addition to Evans, the Buccaneers have relied on Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson at wide receiver. Brown has been the best of the trio with 39 catches for 519 yards and four scores in six games.

That whole group is led by wide receivers coach Kevin Garver, but Tampa Bay announced Monday that he landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list as well.

The Buccaneers already locked up a playoff spot and the NFC South title with a Week 16 win over the Panthers, and Evans is expected to play a key role in the team's postseason run.

For now, the question is whether he's able to return for the Bucs' road game against the New York Jets on Sunday, which is still possible despite being placed on the COVID-19 list, per Greg Auman of The Athletic.

Greg Auman @gregauman

Evans missed Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. In theory he could get two negative tests this week and be cleared from reserve/COVID-19 list before Sunday’s game at the Jets.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m. ET from East Rutherford, New Jersey's MetLife Stadium.