Mike Evans was sidelined during the Buccaneers’ practice Wednesday, and won’t play in Friday night’s third preseason game against the Browns, coach Bruce Arians said.
Evans, who turned 26 Wednesday, pulled up in a drill Sunday after catching a long pass and has been sidelined ever since. The Buccaneers have not released specific information on his injury, but he left the field holding the area of his left quadriceps. Other reports suggest Evans suffered a possible groin injury.
“Mike tweaked (something) yesterday … it’s nothing serious,” Arians told the media Monday.
When asked Wednesday if holding Evans out Friday night is merely a precaution, Arians responded, “No, he’s injured.”
NFL Media reported Wednesday Evans’ injury “should not be a long-term deal.” It makes no sense to rush the star receiver back for a meaningless preseason game — and starters rarely play in the final preseason contest — so the focus turns to getting Evans ready for the regular season opener Sept. 8 against the 49ers.
The explosive Evans caught 86 passes for 1,524 yards (17.7 yards per reception) and eight touchdowns last year. Expectations are even higher entering this season, given Arians’ more vertical offense. Evans is one of only three receivers with 1,000-plus receiving yards in each of his first five seasons, joining Randy Moss and A.J. Green.