Michael Lynn Evans III will be playing his age-27 season in 2020. He was born and raised in Galveston, Texas. Evans’ mother was only 14 years old when she gave birth to him, and unfortunately, Evans’ father was murdered when he was only nine years old.
Evans played basketball, football and ran track for his local high school. He only played football in his senior year but made 25 receptions for 648 yards and 7 touchdowns. In track and field, Evans was very skilled at the triple jump and the long jump.
Evans attended Texas A&M University, where he ended up redshirting his first season. The following season, 2012, he caught 82 passes for 1,105 yards and 5 touchdowns. In 2013 Evans caught 69 passes for 1,394 yards and 12 touchdowns. Deciding to forgo his two remaining seasons of eligibility, he entered the 2014 NFL Draft as a consensus top 10 pick and one of the top wide receivers in the draft.
Evans measured in at 6'4 ¾” and weighed 231 pounds, rushing a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. The Tampa Buccaneers chose him as their 7th pick of the draft in the first round. Evans was the second wide receiver taken after the Buffalo Bills selected Sammy Watkins with the fourth overall pick.
Evans has only missed six games in his entire NFL career of six seasons. During his rookie season, he had an impressive rookie season debut, catching 68 passes for 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2015 he played 15 games and continued to dominate, catching 74 passes for 1,206 yards but only 3 touchdowns.
In 2016 Evans put it all together, played all 16 games catching 96 passes for 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns. Following up this in 2017, Evans caught 71 passes for 1,001 yards and 5 touchdowns. Evans only played in 15 games this season, but the missed game was not for injury but instead a suspension for an illegal hit on Saints CB Marshon Lattimore.
Just before the 2018 season, Evans signed a $55 million guaranteed five-year contract worth up to $82.5 million. He finished the season with 86 receptions and a career-high 1,524 yards and 9 touchdowns, playing in all 16 games. He’s been consistent to say the least.
Unfortunately, Evans struggled to start the 2019 season as he was recovering from the flu. He only played in 13 games as a result of a hamstring injury in Week 14 that caused him to miss the rest of the season. Evans still caught 67 passes for 1,157 yards and 8 touchdowns.
Let’s review Evans' injury history. In 2014, his rookie season with the Buccaneers, Evans suffered a groin strain and missed one of the only games of his career.
The following season he suffered a hamstring injury in preseason that caused him to miss the opening game of the year but played every single contest afterward. Evans demonstrated he was strong since hamstring injuries notoriously re-injure, but thankfully he was able to avoid this.
He did suffer in oblique and groin strain in the middle of the season but did not miss any time with these.
In 2016, Evans suffered a concussion but managed to clear the concussion protocol before the following week. Evans managed to play all 16 games injury-free in 2017 and 2018, only missing the one game due to suspension.
Evans struggled with the flu to begin the 2019 season but managed to play in 13 games until he suffered a hamstring injury in Week 14 that caused him to miss the final three games of the season.
The Tampa Buccaneers offense has always been in the hands of Mike Evans. The addition of Tom Brady won’t change this. Evans is still reliable, and last season he averaged 12.7 points per game, finishing third behind Michael Thomas and teammate Chris Godwin.
Evans had a rollercoaster of a season in 2019. The first two games he put up just 6-89-0, but flipped it in the next two with a 12-279-4, only to flop in Weeks 5 and 6 with a total of 4 receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown. Therefore, four of the first six weeks Evans totaled just 10 catches for 178 yards and a score. His Week 5 game against the Saints was a low point, as he put up a goose-egg.
From Weeks 6-9, Evans was on fire for the sum of 32 receptions for 474 yards and 4 touchdowns. Then it was downhill from there. In the following weeks (10-14), Evans put up 17 catches for 351 yards and just one score. That is five-weeks of mediocre production, averaging 3.4 receptions and 70.2 yards: feast or famine. Evans went to the IR at the end of Week 14.
Evans should be healthy in 2020, and his talent will reminisce of the Brady-Moss connection back in 2007. However, Brady has many more options than just Moss as he did back then. Evans is going to have to compete with Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard, and smaller role players in Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Ronald Jones, Dare Ogunbowale, and Cameron Brate.
The one thing Moss didn’t do is drop the ball. Evans has always had a history of such. He had the 10th most drops last year.
The offense is going to continue to thrive under Bruce Arians, and the secondary is still weak. Therefore, look for the Bucs to match points with points. The team allowed 28 points per game last season, and the offense scored 28.6 per game.
Evans will continue to be a deep threat option, and Brady can still muscle it up with reasonable accuracy. He should continue to average at least 10 points per game on top of those monster contests.
Sports Injury Predictor calculates that Evans has a 39.8% chance of injury in 2020, which is a low score.
It’s reassuring that his injuries have been few and far between, and besides a poorly-timed hamstring strain in 2019, Evans has been very healthy over the past five years. I am sure that there are several small injuries that Evans has played through that haven’t even made it on the injury report.
In totality, Evans has only missed five games in his entire NFL career due to injury, 94.7%. Evans has had a healthy career for an elite wide receiver who also played over eight seasons between college and the NFL.
My (Dr. Morse) risk score for Evans is a low, 2 out of 10. As long as he can manage to avoid any hamstring injuries this upcoming season, he should be good to go.
Starting his NFL career with 6 consecutive seasons to begin a career with over 1,000 receiving yards, tying Hall of Famer Randy Moss, it is clear that Mike Evans is a super-star talent. Still only 27 years old, Evans is consistent when it comes to finishing the season as a top-10 receiver in fantasy football.
In four of six seasons, Evans has done precisely that. There is no reason, outside of injuries, that this trend won't continue
Injury Risk: Low. 2/10.
|Projected Missed||Probability of injury per game ?||Probablity of injury in the season ?|
|Oct 4, 2020||Pedal Ankle Sprain Grade 2||Evans suffered a right ankle sprain during Week 4's win over the Chargers. He was able to finish the game and was available for the next game|
|Sep 9, 2020||Thigh Hamstring Strain Grade 2||Evans appeared on the Buccaneers injury report with a hamstring injury. ahead of the Week 1 showdown with Saints. He was active for the game against the Saints|
|Dec 8, 2019||Thigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||Evans suffered the hamstring injury in Week 14 game vs. the Colts. He missed the remainder of the season|
|Nov 3, 2016||Head Cranial Concussion Grade 1||Evans suffered a concussion in Week 9 action but didn't miss any further time.|
|Nov 1, 2015||Inguinal Groin Pull Grade 1||Evans tweaked his groin but missed no game time.|
|Nov 1, 2015||Abdomen Muscle Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||Evans strained an oblique muscle but didn't miss any time.|
|Aug 24, 2015||Thigh Hamstring Sprain/Pull Unspecified Grade 1||Evans sat out the final 2 preseason games and then the regular-season opener with a hamstring strain.|
|Sep 28, 2014||Inguinal Groin Pull Grade 1||Evans left Week 4 with a groin injury and missed the following game.|