Tampa Bay Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans should be good to go Sunday afternoon against the Chicago Bears.

Head coach Dirk Koetter confirmed Thursday that the third-year wideout is no longer in the NFL’s concussion protocol. “That’s correct, yup. He’s good to go.”

Evans required further evaluation after getting hit hard by Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal last Thursday night while making an incredible one-handed catch near the sideline.

“We practice the thing and then it just happened; it just stuck to my glove,” Evans said Friday after practice, speaking to the media for the first time since Thursday’s game. “I took a nice hit, that’s pretty much it. I didn’t see him, because I had to contort my body and then he came and made a nice hit.”

Losing Evans for even a game would be a big loss to an already depleted offense. He’s leading the team in receptions (55), receiving yards (745) and receiving touchdowns (eight). Those numbers also rank Evans in the top five in the NFL in all three categories.

Evans added Friday that he doesn’t think he had a concussion, but understands that it’s standard practice to error on the side of caution when it comes to head injuries.

“I feel fine. I felt fine after the hit,” he said. “I didn’t have a concussion. But it’s up to them so they put me in the protocol, but I knew I didn’t have a concussion. I appreciate it. I just know my body and I didn’t have a concussion.”

According to the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee’s Protocols Regarding Diagnosis and Management of Concussion, there are a number of exams and tests a player must pass after suffering a concussion before returning to the field. These include undergoing repeat neuropsychological evaluations and returning to a baseline status of symptoms, passing a graduated exercise challenge, and getting cleared by the team physician and an independent neurological consultant.

Injury issues already left the Bucs playing last week with only four receivers. Wideouts on the current active roster are Evans, Adam Humphries, Freddie Martino, Russell Shepard and Cecil Shorts III. Shepard sat out the Falcons game and has yet to return to practice because of a hip injury.

Tampa Bay signed third-year receiver Josh Huff to the practice squad this week and Donteea Dye is also on that 10-man list. When asked Friday about Huff’s progression in just a few days with the team, head coach Dirk Koetter didn’t have much to say.

“He looked fine. He looked fine as a practice squad guy,” Koetter said. In regard to Huff remaining on the practice squad for the time being, Koetter replied with: “Yeah.”

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About the Author: Eric Horchy

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5 years ago

Good for Mike Evans coming out of Concussion Protocol. I know the feeling – I’m in Depression Protocol. Been there since 2007 (last time we made the playoffs). Came out briefly in 2010 when I thought we were going somewhere, then back again when we failed to make the playoffs. Been there ever since and don’t know when I’ll be cleared to cheer again. Woe is me! Lol. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEER PLAYOFF HISTORY (Pro Football Reference) Seasons: 41 (1976 to 2016) Record (W-L-T): 244-391-1 Playoff Record: 6-9 Super Bowls Won: 1 (1 Appearance) Championships Won*: 1 All-time Passing Leader: Vinny… Read more »

Reply to  macabee
5 years ago

BTW, anybody see Dirk Koetter’s press conference today? Seems I’m not the only one in Depression Protocol. Somebody needs to cheer that guy up!

5 years ago

Mac, listen to McCoy’s presser if you want to go from depressed, to straight jacket. McCoy said we’re not on the same page as a defense. Imagine that, after OTA’s, training camp, pre season, till mid season, basically just don’t know what we’re doing on defense. This coming from a pro bowl vet? I’m hearing whispers of quitters in the locker room. To many of these guys we’re counting on like Donavan Smith shrug off getting his Q.B. killed as just a bad game, it happens. No Don, if you prepare, and come out like a pro by taking pride… Read more »