The preseason is over for Mike Evans before it really began.
Evans, the second-year receiver of the Tampa Bay Bucs, does not have a catch in two games. But after tweaking a hamstring in a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, coach Lovie Smith announced he was shutting Evans down for the final two exhibition games.
“I know right now that Mike probably won’t play anymore the rest of the preseason,” Smith said. “We’ll probably keep him out. Hamstring – you guys know how I am about the hamstrings. It takes a while (to heal).”
Last week, quarterback Jameis Winston had talked of dreaming of he and Evans as blossoming into a combination on par with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. Evans had grinned and said “That’s the goal.”
Instead, their first completion will have to wait until the regular season.
“If a guy has that hamstring injury, he’s going to be out a while,” Smith said. “So, significant, how long – I could have come up here and said (Evans is) day-to-day, which most people do for hamstring injuries. It doesn’t work like that. He injured his hamstring, he’s not going to play this week, probably won’t play the following week. We’ll take every precaution with hamstrings, always, with me.”
Evans had said last week that he and Winston shared a common desire.
“I think (a great quarterback and receiver) have the same amount of hunger,” Evans said. “They’re hungry to be great. Jameis is especially hungry. As I am. We’ve got enough ability.”