On Thursday, Mike Evans met with members of the media in the Bucs' locker room at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa. Evans missed last Sunday's regular season opener with a hamstring injury, one that kept him out for most of the preseason, but said that he feels healthy for the Bucs' Week 2 matchup with the Saints.
"It's up to (the coaches)," Evans said. "I feel 100 percent. I'm ready to go. I've been practicing."
Hamstring injuries are tricky, though. Head Coach Lovie Smith has said that Evans, or any other player, won't play if they're not healthy. Either way, the fact that Evans is pain-free is a positive sign on his road to recovery.
"I know all of you would like to know whether Mike Evans is playing or not," Coach Smith said during his press conference on Thursday. "I don't know that. I just know he's getting better."
Whether or not Evans is active on Sunday will be decided on Saturday after he's gone through a full week of practice.
"I just have to see how I feel on Saturday," Evans said. "That's what Coach told me. We'll see then. I'll practice today and tomorrow and we'll see how it goes."
Pictures from the Bucs' practice on Wednesday, September 16th at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa.
If Evans is able to take the field, he's confident in the way he matches up with the Saints' defensive backs. One of New Orleans' premiere free agent acquisitions this summer was cornerback Brandon Browner, a big-bodied defensive back who was brought in to help the Saints against the NFC South's big receivers. Evans said that he's looking forward to the matchup.
"I think it plays to my favor as a more physical guy," Evans said. "I think the ref will let us play more, hopefully. I like going against bigger guys."
With Evans sidelined last week, tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins broke out with 110 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Vincent Jackson led the wide receivers with 51 yards. The Bucs will take on the Saints at 1 p.m. on Sunday in New Orleans.