After an incredible start to the season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their first true measuring stick game on Sunday against.
The Detroit Lions are coming to town, and we are going to learn a lot about just how good the Bucs really are and if they’re actually contenders in the NFC. When the season started, the most notable things about Sunday’s game was the creamsicle throwbacks returning but now it’s a battle between two surprise first place teams.
Detroit’s expectations were a little higher than Tampa Bay’s, but the Lions have arguably outperformed preseason predictions. Not only does Detroit enter this week in first place but it looks like one of the best teams in the NFC, with everything clicking in all the right ways.
It’s not unlike how the Bucs have seen a wave of success to begin the season, with Baker Mayfield leading the team and the defense returning to an elite level. Todd Bowles, free to run the team the way he wants, has turned things around and everything is moving in the right direction.
One cause for concern, though, was the health of Mike Evans, who left the Bucs Week 4 win over New Orleans with a hamstring injury.
Is Mike Evans playing Week 6 vs. Lions?
Right before halftime of the Bucs win over the Saints, Evans was seen being worked on by trainers while the Tampa Bay offense was on the field. His day was determined to be over shortly after than and we later learned it was yet another hamstring injury that knocked him out.
Tampa Bay’s bye week falling last week ended up being a blessing, as it gave Evans extended time to heal up. Had the Bucs played a game, it’s unlikely Evans would have been able to suit up and even with the rest it was uncertain that he’s be ready for the Lions game.
Earlier in the week things were looking a little dicey, but on Friday head coach Todd Bowles said the Evans is ‘full go’ for Sunday’s game.
The Bucs will need all the help they can get, as the Lions have proven to be a handful for opponents this season. Detroit is dealing with its own injury concern, though, as rookie tight end Sam LaPorta missed practice on Thursday with a a calf injury that might keep him out of Sunday’s game.