Monday provided Evans and the Bucs with better news. An MRI on Evans' hyperextended knee showed no structural damage and very little swelling, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said. The receiver is considered to be day-to-day as Tampa Bay prepares to face the Washington Football Team this weekend.
Evans' desire to play encouraged Arians, who said even if the receiver was at just 80 percent, "we'd have to fight to keep him off the field."
They'll hope he'll be even better than 80 percent for the weekend's Super Wild Card Weekend meeting with Washington on Saturday night, but if he's not available, Tampa Bay's cupboard at receiver isn't exactly bare. Chris Godwin recorded his third career game of 130-plus receiving yards and two or more touchdowns (the second-most in Bucs history, trailing only Evans), and scored a receiving touchdown in his third straight game Sunday. Antonio Brown has also picked up some slack, catching a touchdown Sunday to extend his streak to three straight games with a receiving score.
With Tom Brady at the controls, the Bucs shouldn't lose a ton of sleep over Evans' status, even with his premier standing helping their offense reach greater heights. With Monday's news, it sounds as if Tampa Bay's hand wringing will be at a minimum as it monitors Evans' progress through the week.