Safety Justin Evans finally back at practice for Buccaneers
By Cory Kinnan
Sidelined for the entirety of the offseason to this point, safety Justin Evans is back on the practice field for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After landing on the Injured Reserve for the last six games of last season and having multiple surgeries on his foot this offseason, third year safety Justin Evans is finally back on the field and practicing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Trevor Sikkema of PewterReport reported yesterday that Evans was back in cleats and pads for the Buccaneers.
"“#Bucs S Justin Evans was in pads today for the first time since training camp began. He didn’t appear to be a full participant with the team, but him in cleats and pads is a great sign for him being ready for Week 1” (Sikkema via Twitter)."
A good sign indeed as the Buccaneers have had to scramble at the safety position over the last week, signing multiple players at the position including veteran Darian Stewart. The Buccaneers have faced a number of injuries at the safety position this summer, including third round pick Mike Edwards, Orion Stewart who was signed from the Alliance of American football, and undrafted rookie out of Wisconsin D’Cota Dixon.
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Getting Evans, a two year starter for the Buccaneers, back is a huge boost for the team as they are currently fielding Stewart and sixth round pick from a year ago Jordan Whitehead. The former second round pick from 2017 in Evans gives more depth, once again, to the safety position in Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers will be hoping for better luck with Evans’ health this year as he has missed a total of eight games through his first two seasons to this point. After a stellar rookie season where Evans recorded three interceptions, defended an additional six passes, and two tackles for loss, the former Aggie took a step back last season.
While the whole Buccaneers’ secondary was abysmal a year ago, Evans managed just one interception, two passes defended, and one tackle for loss from his safety position in limited time in 2018. With Todd Bowles holding the reigns of the defense this year, the Buccaneers’ safeties better be ready to move around the field a ton.
Hopefully Evans is not too far behind on learning the new defensive scheme that comes with a new defensive coordinator. Bowles will ask a ton of Evans, and if he is healthy, he is expected to start in the Buccaneers’ secondary on week one along with either Stewart, Edwards, or Whitehead. It is good to have Evans back in the Buccaneers’ secondary as the defense is better with him on the field.