Mike Evans caught some passes at Bucs facility Thursday

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Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has started taking steps back toward the team’s lineup.

Evans was out with a hamstring injury last week and then went on the COVID-19 reserve list, but Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he was at the team’s facility on Thursday. Evans caught some passes from practice squad quarterback Ryan Griffin in his first on-field work since being injured in a loss to the Saints on December 19.

While Evans went on the COVID reserve list Monday, Stroud reports his isolation actually started on December 24 after he tested positive on a league-approved at-home test. NFL protocols now call for players to isolate for five days rather than 10 as long as they are asymptomatic.

Evans was not formally activated on Thursday and his extended time off the field may make playing this Sunday a stretch, but his on-field cameo suggests it won’t be too much longer before he’ll be back where the Bucs want him on offense.