There’s a chance Tom Brady may have to make his Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut on Sunday without his one of his top offensive weapons. On Wednesday, wide receiver Mike Evans missed practice with a soft tissue injury, according to head coach Bruce Arians, who labeled Evans a game-time decision for the Buccaneers’ Week 1 matchup against the New Orleans Saints and said that they’ll take it all the way to the wire to see if he will be able to suit up, according to Pewter Report

“We’ll see how it goes,” Arians said, via Eduardo Encina of the Tampa Bay Times.

Last season, Evans caught 67 passes for 1,157 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games. He missed the last few contests of the regular season due to a hamstring injury he suffered against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 14. Still, his numbers were good enough to earn his third Pro Bowl nod. The former No. 7 overall pick has recorded at least 1,000 yards receiving in each of his six seasons and has caught a total of 48 touchdowns in 90 career games. 

Evans also just reportedly restructured his contract in order to give the Buccaneers more cap space to sign running back Leonard Fournette. Evans was initially slated to have a $17.95 million cap hit, but it’s now $8.38 million after the team reduced Evans’ 2020 base salary to $4 million and converted $12.75 million into guaranteed per-game roster bonuses. 

Not having Evans would be a big blow to the Buccaneers offense — especially considering that they are facing the divisional rival Saints on the road. Many expect the NFC South title to come down to these two teams, and not having Evans on the field for the first of their two matchups is not the beginning of the season the Buccaneers imagined. Evans is still considered “day-to-day,” but it sounds like he would be unable to play if the Buccaneers kicked off the 2020 season today. If Evans indeed cannot go on Sunday, expect Scott Miller or Justin Watson to step up alongside Chris Godwin.  


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