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Mike Evans injury update: Buccaneers receiver out for game with knee injury

Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans left Tampa Bay’s Week 17 game with an apparent left knee injury after an awkward step in the end zone. He headed to the locker room with trainers, needing a cart once he reached the tunnel. Tampa Bay ruled Evans out for the game soon after his injury.

Evans’ injury came as he was targeted in the end zone. He ran a slant route and broke open. Tom Brady’s pass was a bit behind Evans, who was forced to attempt to plant his left foot. His cleat didn’t stick, though, and the way it skidded caused Evans’ left knee to bend inward.

After the game, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians told reporters, “Knock on wood, we don’t think there’s any serious damage. We’ll know more in the next 24 hours.” On Monday, Arians said Evans is day-to-day with no structural damage revealed in an MRI.

Here’s footage of the injury, which could be found as disturbing.

Evans returned to the sideline after his injury in street clothes with a brace on his left knee, according to Fox’s Jennifer Hale. According to Sports Injury Predictor, Evans hasn’t dealt with a serious knee injury in his NFL career. 

Prior to Evans’ departure, he’d caught three passes for 46 yards Sunday. It made him the first player in NFL history to have 1,000 or more receiving yards in seven consecutive seasons to begin a career.

While the Buccaneers entered Sunday with a playoff berth already clinched, Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians said during the week that his team would play its regulars in an effort to secure the No. 5 seed in the NFC. Locking up the fifth seed means a matchup with the sub-.500 NFC East champion in the wild card round.

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