Getty Mike Evans and Antonio Brown celebrate a touchdown.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians confirmed Mike Evans’ game-time status with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine on Saturday.
The Bucs star wide receiver will play in his first-ever playoff game at Washington in the NFC Wild Card round Saturday night, almost a week after hyperextending his knee in the regular season finale against Atlanta. Evans’ MRI didn’t show structural damage to the knee, and he practiced on Thursday but remained a game-time decision.
Evans went big on social media, posting on Instagram the day after his injury to thank fans “prayer and well wishes.” His post amassed 73,250 likes.
He made NFL history in Week 17, as Laine noted, eclipsing Hall-of-Famer Randy Moss as the first receiver to amass 1,000 yards annually in the first seven seasons of his career. Evans’ record-breaking catch came the play before his slipped in the end zone against the Falcons.
Raymond James Stadium, the Bucs’ home field, had beat-up turf due the Outback Bowl being played the day before. Arians blamed the field conditions for Evans’ injury in Sunday’s press conference. The coach noted on Monday that field conditions at Fed Ex Field wouldn’t determine Evans’ status for the Wild Card game.
Evans became a favorite target of Bucs quarterback Tom Brady’s, becoming the third player to catch 12 or more touchdowns from Brady in a season while setting a Bucs franchise record of 13 touchdowns according to NFL.com’s Kevin Patra. Moss and Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski became the first two catch 12 or more earlier in Brady’s career.
Carlton Davis Returns
Tampa also gets star cornerback Carlton Davis back, according to Laine, after missing two games due to a groin injury.
Davis has four interceptions, 68 tackles and 18 pass deflections this season. He practiced in a limited capacity on Wednesday but returned to practice in full capacity on Thursday, but he remained a game-time decision according Buccaneers.com’s Carmen Vitali.
Davis injured his groin in the Bucs’ first game at Atlanta on Dec. 20.
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