The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed wide receiver Mike Evans on the reserve/COVID-19 list, hours after wide receiver Breshad Perriman was activated from that same list.
Evans sat out the Buccaneers' Week 16 win at Carolina due to a hamstring injury suffered the previous Sunday but unlike Lavonte David and Leonard Fournette, he was not placed on injured reserve. That preserved hope that Evans could play in one or both of the remaining regular-season games, but Monday's development obviously complicates the matter.
Under the recently-revised NFL COVID protocols, players who test positive and are fully vaccinated can return to the team at any time if they are asymptomatic and generate two negative COVID tests 24 hours apart. Perriman spent nine days on the list before being activated.
Evans is second on the team with 899 receiving yards and he's second in the NFL with 11 touchdown receptions. He needs 101 more yards to reach 1,000 on the season, which would make him just the sixth player in NFL history to record at least eight straight 1,000-yard receiving campaigns. The other five are Jerry Rice (11), Tim Brown (9), Cris Carter (8), Marvin Harrison (8) and Torry Holt (8). Evans is already the first player in league history to begin his career with seven straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
The seventh-overall pick in the 2014 draft, Evans is the Buccaneers franchise record-holder in receptions (596), receiving yards (9,165), touchdown receptions (72) and total touchdowns (73). He has caught 11 or more touchdown passes in four of his eight seasons; every other player in franchise history has combined for one such season.