The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to sure-up the defensive backfield in 2020 and a healthy Justin Evans could be the answer.
Justin Evans missed the 2019 season with the Buccaneers due to a lingering foot injury that required surgery after being a starter-level player during his first two years.
Evans has been injury-plagued throughout his football career as he is most-noted for popping his knee back in place on the field during his collegiate career with Texas A&M.
Tampa Bay Coach Bruce Arians indicated during his end-of-season press conference that Evans was doing well in rehab, but that a timetable for his return couldn’t be determined at this point.
The Question Mark and the Answer:
Though there’s speculation and concern about Evans’ future, there are reasons to believe that the talented defensive back could be the answer at safety with a huge caveat: If he can remain healthy.
Despite it being one of the weak-points of the defense in 2019, Tampa Bay has promising young talent at the safety position. The Buccaneers showed improvement over the last few weeks of the season and there’s plenty of optimism heading into the offseason that guys like Mike Edwards and Jordan Whitehead are going to take the next step to a higher level.
That being said, this group needs depth and it needs a guy to emerge as a leader and physical presence on the back-end. That should be Evans. Evans has shown spurts of being that solid-coverage option and enforcer at safety for the Buccaneers and it should be noted that he improved over the course of his two seasons in Tampa Bay.
But will his injuries be too much to overcome? It’s the chicken and the egg.
Nothing is for sure as we progress in the offseason, but this statement reigns true when talking about the safety position for the Bucs: Evans is the question-mark and he’s the answer, as well.