Bucs' Pass-Catching Depth Delivers After Mike Evans' Injury

Luke Easterling

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans made the most of his only catch Sunday, racing 61-yards for a touchdown in a 38-35 shootout victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Unfortunately, Evans also suffered a hamstring injury on the play, putting him out for the rest of the game in just the second quarter.

Sure, this is when it's good to have more than one 1,000-yard receiver, as the Bucs do in Chris Godwin. But while Godwin indeed led the Tampa Bay offense with 91 yards on seven receptions Sunday, it was the rest of the pass-catching depth chart that picked up the slack and stepped up their game in Evans' absence.

Despite having just two career catches prior to Sunday's game, Justin Watson replaced Evans in the starting lineup and had a career day, catching five passes for 59 yards and his first career touchdown pass.

Breshad Perriman followed up a strong showing against the Jacksonville Jaguars the previous week with yet another impressive performance, catching three passes for 70 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown.

Tampa Bay's two-headed monster at tight end also came up big. O.J. Howard finished second on the team with four receptions and 73 yards, while Cameron Brate caught four balls for 30 yards and a score.

Even the Bucs' backfield played a big role in the passing game. Dare Ogunbowale, Ronald Jones II and Peyton Barber combined for 11 receptions and 90 yards, with Ogunbowale converting a key 4th-down through the air late in the game.

The initial prognosis on Evans' injury doesn't look good, so it's possible he could miss Tampa Bay's three remaining games. While it will be a huge loss to be without one of the NFL's best receivers, the Bucs can take solace in knowing they have a deep group of pass-catchers who have already proven they can rise to the challenge.