Buccaneers' Mike Evans hoping to be at 100 percent against Saints



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Buccaneers' Mike Evans hoping to be at 100 percent against Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans hopes to be close to 100 percent when his team meets the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round this weekend. In Week 17, three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Evans suffered a hyperextended left knee that forced him to go the hospital for an MRI.

Evans, who was questionable to play in the wild-card round, suited up and caught 119 yards in a 31-23 win over the Washington Football Team. "God is good," Evans said, as quoted on ESPN. "I'm happy. I dodged a bullet there with the hyperextension.

Training staff did a great job. Got a lot of rest. A lot of praying. And it worked out for me. I'm feeling fresher. Hopefully I can go into this game closer to 100 percent." Evans suffered the injury just one play after becoming the first player in NFL history to reach the 1,000-yard mark in each of his first seven seasons.

"It was painful," Evans said. "I had a wide-open touchdown. I felt my leg slip a little bit, but I was just focused on the ball. I felt a pinch, but I was just trying to focus on catching the ball. It was tough. I didn't make the play.

And then I was upset with myself that I didn't catch the ball, so I was just trying to walk off real fast and then I felt it, it was in pretty bad condition."

Tom Brady was worried for Evans

After Evans suffered the injury, Buccaneers quarterback Brady came right away to check on Evans.

"He was like, 'Did you hyperextend it?'" Evans said. "And I didn't know what to say. I didn't know what it was. But it was painful. The swelling has gone down tremendously." Evans, who has been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL since coming to the league in 2014, played his first NFL playoff game last weekend.

"It meant a lot. I haven't been to the playoffs -- it was my first time, first game in the playoffs. I was excited to play," Evans said. "It just meant a lot to be out there and to try to make plays to help my team win.

The goal is to do enough each week to play the next week, so that's what we're doing this week." It remains to be seen if Evans will be at 100 percent this weekend against the Saints.