Tampa Bay extended their win streak to three games on Sunday with a 38-35 victory over the visiting Indianapolis Colts, but it came at a cost.
On his lone reception of the day, a 61-yard touchdown in the first quarter, Mike Evans pulled up with a hamstring injury that would keep the star receiver out for the remainder of the game – and possibly the season with just three games remaining.
The extent of the injury is unknown, but head coach Bruce Arians commented that Evans is doubtful to play in Tampa Bay’s upcoming game against the Detroit Lions, although he believes the injury is just a pulled muscle and not a tear.
“They’re just going to let it bleed out and see,” Arians said. “He was a quick healer when he had it in the spring but I have to be very doubtful for this week.”
In addition to Evans’ injury, another concerning injury happened after halftime as the Bucs’ backup quarterback Ryan Griffin came into the game to begin the third quarter. Winston would re-enter the game on the second drive of the half and Arians revealed following the game that his starting signal-caller had suffered a minor fracture in his thumb, impacting his ability to grip the ball.
While Arians insinuated immediately following the game that the fracture would not affect Winston moving forward, he stated during his press conference on Monday that Winston would be seeing a hand specialist to evaluate the extent of the injury.
“It’s swollen and sore,” Arians said. “But we’ve got to get a hand specialist involved to see for the long-term future.”
Should Winston be forced to miss time, with quarterback Blaine Gabbert already on the injured reserve, Griffin would step in as the interim starter while Chad Kanoff, a first-year quarterback out of Princeton, would likely be promoted from the practice squad to handle the backup duties.