The Buccaneers will need all hands on deck for the week one matchup against New Orleans, but they may be without wide receiver Mike Evans.
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers brought Tom Brady to Tampa Bay, their main goal was to surround Brady with the best talent possible. Tampa Bay had a dominant duo of pass-catchers and brought even more in, but they may be without Mike Evans for their first game.
Evans has created a name for himself as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. His combination of size, strength, and speed has allowed Evas to succeed in a wide range of situations, and he is immediately one of the best receivers that Brady has thrown to.
If Evans really is “day to day,” as Greg Auman reported on Twitter, Tampa Bay will need to start preparing for the worst-case scenario. Fortunately for the team, this is not the end of the world.
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Assuming Evans is down, the Bucs have the depth to use various options in Evans’ spot alongside Chris Godwin in passing sets. Scotty Miller and Justin Watson have shown that they can provide sufficient depth when needed, and Miller already has a great rapport with his new quarterback.
It is also likely that the Bucs would try to run the ball more if they are concerned about keeping control of the clock. Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette will already play a substantial role in the offense this year, and they could see a mountain of touches in the first game.
Tampa Bay even has enough tight ends on their roster that they could run 13 personnel (one running back and three tight ends) for most of the game without a drop-off in pass production. The Buccaneers have an embarrassment of riches on the offensive side of the ball, and an injury would just allow the next man the opportunity to succeed in the same positions.
Mike Evans is a warrior and will likely find a way to suit up on Sunday, but even if he didn’t, the Buccaneers aren’t in trouble from a passing standpoint. The Bucs are ready to go this year, and they are built to press on with injuries at every position other than quarterback.