Evan Spencer didn’t light up the stat sheet during the preseason – five receptions for 54 yards – but he performed well in training camp and stepped up when it counted in Week 4 by catching all three targets.
Coach Dirk Koetter on Monday admitted that injuries to other receivers played a factor in Spencer’s rise to the 53-man roster. But he’s versatile and reliable, nonetheless.
“Evan is another really strong competitor, can play all three wide receiver spots and is a good special teams player,” Koetter said. “It’s no secret we’re a little light on the backend of that receiver group and then we had some injuries, so that was competitive right down to the end.”
But the former Buckeye did enough to outperform/outlast Kenny Bell, Bernard Reedy, Jonathan Krause and Donteea Dye, who strained his hamstring in Week 3 and was subsequently waived with an injury settlement.
Drafted in the sixth-round out of Ohio State by Washington in 2015, Spencer signed to the Bucs practice squad last September and was promoted to the active roster for the last two games. He saw limited action in Week 17, but his experience in the system and familiarity with the coaches and players gave him an advantage heading into 2016 camp.
Tampa Bay liked what it saw out of the 6-foot-2 receiver in his second go at it.
“We’re very pleased with Evan,” Koetter said. “We got a long look at him last year when he was on the practice squad. He’ll be up and ready to go for Atlanta.”