The Bucs have seen some vital players miss practice this week with Ronald Jones sitting out the past two days with swelling in his knee, as Bruce Arians put it, and Mike Evans sidelined with a hamstring injury. With the season nearing closer, safety Justin Evans has also remained relegated to merely watching practice on the team’s physically-unable-to-perform list.
While Mike Evans sat out of practice again on Tuesday, Jones and Justin Evans made a leap forward. Jones returned to practice in full pads, however noticeably wearing a brace on his left knee, and while Justin Evans watching practice in sneakers has become as common as afternoon rain in Tampa, the third-year safety was seen on the far field running in cleats with one of the team’s trainers.
Jones’ injury can likely be traced back to his opening kickoff return during Friday’s preseason game against the Dolphins when he appeared to come down awkwardly on his left leg while catching the ball. He then took two carries on the team’s first series, with the first going for a gain of 10 before being tackled in the backfield for a loss of three on the next play.
Football is a game of injuries, and while you would optimally never see anyone miss time, players are going to get banged up and you can only hope that the time missed is short and the injuries don’t take out a team’s key producers for big chunks of the season. When injuries happen to players who are as important to the team’s offense as Jones and Mike Evans intend to be in 2019, and when injuries last as long as Justin Evans’ has, the situations inevitably carry a little more weight.
Arians was asked about Justin Evans’ progress after practice, but wouldn’t divulge any details and stated that injury reports aren’t released until week one. The Bucs’ head coach also said on Monday that it’s a day-to-day situation for Jones and Mike Evans but predicted that Jones will be good to play on Friday against the Cleveland Browns while the team’s top pass-catcher may be forced to sit that game out.
Scotty Miller returned to practice on Monday after missing the last two weeks and Cam Brate has missed all three practices this week. As for other injuries, many familiar faces remained out of commission.
#Bucs TE Cam Brate, WR Mike Evans, LB Lavonte David, DT Vita Vea, S Mike Edwards, S Justin Evans, DL Jeremiah Ledbetter, QB Nick Fitzgerald, OLB Kahzin Daniels, OLB Anthony Nelson were all out of practice.
RB Ronald Jones was in pads and returned to practice today. #Bucs
— PewterReport (@PewterReport) August 20, 2019