The Bucs have placed wide receiver Mike Evans on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Monday. As positive COVID cases pop up around the league, Tampa Bay has been hit lately with a couple of their own.
Evans missed Sunday’s 32-6 win over the Panthers on Sunday due to a hamstring injury. Before testing positive, it was still unsure whether he would be available for the Bucs next game on the road against the Jets. Evans has 64 receptions and 899 receiving yards on the season and leads the team with 11 touchdowns.
COVID has impacted the Bucs’ receiving room heavily as of late. Breshad Perriman missed the last two games while testing positive for the virus. He got activated on Monday and will be available for the this week. Earlier in the day, Bruce Arians announced that wide receivers coach Kevin Garver tested positive following the trip back from Carolina. Coach Matt Rhule of the Panthers stated that the team had multiple positive cases the day after the game.
Tampa Bay’s main goal would be to have Evans ready for the playoffs. They don’t want to risk a re-injury to his hamstring, but he also has a chance to extend his NFL record of consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to begin a career to eight. If he were only going to play one of the two, it would most likely be at home against Carolina next week. He is only 101 yards away and will now only have one opportunity to extend that record in Week 18.
Since Evans didn’t play against the Panthers, the status quo only changes at receiver with the addition of Perriman back. Antonio Brown will be the number one receiver as Perriman jumps into the number two spot. From there, it’ll be a mixture of Tyler Johnson and Cyril Grayson Jr. Johnson didn’t receive a target on Sunday while Grayson had arguably the greatest game of his career with three receptions for 81 yards.
The Bucs travel to New York this week to play against the Jets at 1:00 PM. Though the division is clinched, a win for the Bucs can see them move up as high as the two seed this week.