Bucs’ third-year safety Justin Evans was seen running on the far field at practice, in cleats, with a trainer on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Evans was seen in pads running agility drills and catching balls from a trainer, although he wasn’t participating in team drills.
It’s a promising sign for Tampa Bay’s depleted safety position, as Evans hasn’t seen the field since Week 10 of 2018. Rookie safety Mike Edwards has missed nearly two weeks with a pulled hamstring and both safeties Orion Stewart and D’Cota Dixon have suffered season-ending injuries.
Evans initially suffered a toe injury midway through 2018, but upon returning to the Bucs’ facility in the spring, it was revealed that he had also suffered a heel injury that required a procedure before a setback pushed his timeline further into the 2019 preseason.
The third-year safety can’t be cleared to participate in team drills until he’s removed from the physically-unable-to-perform list. With that said, it’s highly unlikely that Evans suits up for Friday’s preseason game against the Browns. If the young defensive back was looking to be ready for Week 1, he may see some snaps in the Bucs’ fourth preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. If Week 1 isn’t in the cards, it’s unlikely fans will see Evans in action until at least Week 3 with the Bucs facing the Panthers on Thursday Night Football for their Week 2 match up.