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Bucs plan to shut down receiver Mike Evans for the rest of preseason

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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.”

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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