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Buccaneers' Mike Evans Exited Practice With Hamstring Injury, Todd Bowles Says

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVAugust 5, 2022

Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said Friday that wide receiver Mike Evans left practice early after tweaking his hamstring, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Evans reached his fourth Pro Bowl in 2021 after catching 114 passes for 1,035 yards and 14 touchdowns. Since entering the NFL in 2014, he has yet to finish with fewer than 1,000 receiving yards.

Toward the end of the campaign, the Bucs needed Evans to assume an even larger role after Chris Godwin suffered a torn ACL and Antonio Brown unexpectedly left the team. In Tampa Bay's two playoff games, he caught 17 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns, exceeding his production from the team's Super Bowl run in 2020.

The Bucs have strengthened their receiving corps this offseason by signing former Atlanta Falcons teammates Russell Gage and Julio Jones, plus there is hope Chris Godwin will be ready for Week 1.

When everybody is available, quarterback Tom Brady has quite the arsenal at his disposal. Last season showed, however, how much the outlook can change when one of the key pieces is removed from the equation. The absence of Rob Gronkowski shouldn't be overlooked, either, since he was an excellent secondary target in his two years with the team.

The Bucs figure to take a cautious approach with Evans regardless of how severe the injury is since they will want to do everything possible to get him 100 percent for Week 1 of the regular season.

It was probably already likely that Evans wasn't going to play in the team's preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 13, but one can assume the hamstring ailment will almost certainly cause Bowles to hold him out.

The important target date for Evans and the Bucs is Sept. 11, which is Tampa's regular-season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

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