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.

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16 COMMENTS

  1. The guy is talented. Too bad foot injuries take forever to heal for WRs and DBs

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    Rating: +14. From 16 votes.
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    • Foot injuries are some of THE worst. I’m nowhere near a pro athlete and had foot surgery 2 years ago.. I’m still not at 100%.

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      Rating: +9. From 9 votes.
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      • True story. Broke my right heel almost 2 years ago. Still can’t walk or stand for long or run at all without a good bit of pain. It’s bearable, but I have to push through. I can’t imagine having to back pedal and plant on it in a consistent manner. I wish him luck

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  2. Hopefully this is the beginning of guys starting to come back.

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    Rating: +11. From 11 votes.
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  3. Since he hasn’t played in forever, and this is a new defense for him, he’d only be a liability putting him into a live game to soon.

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    Rating: +7. From 7 votes.
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  4. J Evans has had a lot of injuries and still needs to learn the mental part of the game. But, man, the dude’s athletic talent pops off the film. Remember the interception against Brady?

    Welcome back, Justin! We need you.

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    Rating: +18. From 18 votes.
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  5. Don’t Evans and Whitehead play the same position? (Free Safety) While Edwards and Brice are the Strong safeties?

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    • One of the Secondary coaches in the first round of press conferences back in the Spring said that Safeties are interchangeable in Todd Bowles’ defense and that they will sometimes play more than 2 Safeties at once.

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      Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
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  6. Knowing how hamstrings, quads and foot injuries are, I was a little surprised to hear BA chirping on Soctty Miller about his hamstring injury. I remember not to long ago Doug Martin was out 7 or 8 weeks because he tried to come back to soon from one.
    I think Mike Evans was out 4 weeks with a hamstring during his rookie season.
    Hamstrings normally don’t take just two weeks to get better so get off Miller’s back.

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  7. Yes Edwards is the starter with Whitehead. But Evans can still be used in nickel and dime packages as Bowles will send Edwards on many blitzes. Technically to make Bowles defense works you need 3-4 competent safeties in nickel and dime situations.

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  8. Well regardless Obviously depth is better with Evans being healthy. Also pre season game two it is hardly written in stone Whitehead is starting over him. I’m not even sure he’s better than Evans doubt coaches are either.

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  9. Easy to say don’t play if you have hamstring injury Dr. D, if they “get off his back” and he doesn’t play he has no chance making this team….this is chance of lifetime for him and doesn’t play doesn’t make the team. Has to show something or may not get another chance here or elsewhere.

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    • I could not agree more fredster.

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      Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
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  10. This is good. Sounds like they’re being careful and bringing him along slowly. Completely agree with that and hope he’s full strength by Week 3.

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    Rating: +2. From 2 votes.
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  11. Evans Whitehead Edwards Stewart Brice is easily a top 5 safety Room Bucs have great depth at Safety

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    • Yeah Brice has surprised me. It looks like he has cleaned up his tackling as that was a big issue with him last year in GB.

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