Mike Evans has been banged up for most of the 2020 NFL season. He originally had a hamstring malady that has rendered him a game-time decision on a couple of occasions but has yet to knock him out of action. Now, he has picked up an ankle injury, and as a result, he’s officially “questionable” for the Buccaneers’ Thursday night game against the Bears. Evans’ owners will be eagerly awaiting updates on his status as they prepare his first start ’em, sit ’em calls in all formats, as he will be a staple of their lineups if he’s playing. However, the latter part of that equation is becoming increasingly murky with the game rapidly approaching.
We’ll be here providing updates below about Evans right up until the active/inactive report is released at around 6:50 p.m. ET on Thursday. For injury updates on Evans’ teammate and fellow receiver Scotty Miller, click here (link coming soon), and for more fantasy news, follow us on Twitter @SN_Fantasy .
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Is Mike Evans playing Thursday night?
Evans has been one of the most consistent wide receivers in fantasy football to start the season — kind of. He has developed a good rapport with Tom Brady, and in four games, he has already caught at least one touchdown in every contest. However, he’s had exactly two yards in two games and over 100 yards in the other two. Still, since Evans is established as Brady’s favorite red-zone target, he can be trusted if he’s on the field.
If Tampa Bay is without Evans on Thursday, his absence would be a big loss. It looks like he may be a true game-time decision after being listed as a non-participant on the Bucs’ practice report from Monday-Wednesday. A lot will depend on how he does in pre-game warmups, so Evans’ fantasy owners will need to watch this injury very closely.
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The Bucs have already ruled out two other receivers, Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Justin Watson (chest), for this contest. Evans’ projected counterpart in this game, Scotty Miller (hip/groin), is also questionable though he seems more likely to play after logging a limited practice on Thursday. If Evans is out, Miller will be a high-volume target for Brady and could put up some big numbers as the de facto No. 1 receiver for the Buccaneers.
Evans’ potential absence would also make Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate bigger parts of the offense, as they would be red-zone threats from the TE position. They may not be starter-worthy in year-long formats, but as DFS fliers in a showdown/single-game contest, they could be reliable. However, trying to figure out the pecking order of Tampa Bay’s other receivers, Tyler Johnson, Jaydon Mickens, and Cyril Grayson, would be an exercise in futility. So, if Evans is out, fantasy owners might have to turn elsewhere to find some receiver options.
Evans is a must-start if he is healthy, and he should be a top-25 WR if he does play. But right now, it’s too early to tell whether he will suit up in an important game for the Buccaneers.