The odds for Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans playing on Sunday don’t look so good after he missed another day of practice on Thursday because of a hamstring injury, but it doesn’t sound like the team will be ruling him out before they’re forced to do it.
Coach Lovie Smith said Thursday that “never jeopardize our players” by pushing them into the lineup if they don’t feel ready to play or if the medical staff says they can’t play, but made it clear that practicing during the week won’t be a prerequisite for Evans getting on the field against the Titans.
“Mike Evans is getting a whole lot better,” Smith said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “As a general rule, you would like for guys to practice all three days. If they can’t practice a day, it’s a question mark. If we have a good football player that doesn’t practice all week, and he gets up Sunday morning, saying ‘I’m feeling good,’ if we have a history with him, he’s going to play.”
All of that may be true, but if Evans’s hamstring isn’t well enough for him to get on the field at all this week then it seems like a bit too much of a risk to put him in the lineup when there are still 15 more games to play after Week One.
Louis Murphy would be the replacement for Evans in the starting lineup if Sunday rolls around without Evans feeling better with Adam Humphries or Russell Shepard in the slot.