Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Now that Pro Bowl's done, rest ahead for Mike Evans and Gerald McCoy

ORLANDO -— For Bucs fans frustrated to see WR Mike Evans on the sidelines throughout Sunday's Pro Bowl, don't be angry at NFC coach Jason Garrett.

Evans, who barely played and was not targeted once in the NFC's 20-13 loss to the AFC, said after the game that he was "a little banged up" but still enjoyed his first Pro Bowl experience.

"I still wanted to come out here and experience this Pro Bowl. It was off the chain," Evans said on the field after the game. "The fans showed mad love; it was a great experience and hopefully I'm blessed enough to get back here."

Evans played early in the game but didn't have a pass thrown his way, and didn't play in the second half, watching from the sidelines as the NFC and teammate Gerald McCoy came up just short in a 20-13 loss.

Evans wouldn't elaborate on his injury, but said it's nothing that would keep him from taking part in minicamps and OTAs this spring once he's rested up a bit.

"I'm a little dinged up. I wanted to play a few plays to get the experience," he said. "We have a lot of great guys and I trusted them. I didn't feel like I was ready to go full-go. Just some rest and chilling with the family."

McCoy had a sack and four tackles, the most he's had in his five Pro Bowls, but still was disappointed to see the NFC come up short.

McCoy pointed to the hustle on a play in the final minute of the game as proof the game still means something to the players involved, even the difference between a $64,000 winner's share and the $32,000 players from the losing team get. Down seven points, the NFC got to the AFC 19-yard line, only to see Kirk Cousins get intercepted at the 2-yard line by Denver's Lorenzo Alexander, who then lateraled to teammate Aqib Talib.

Cousins though ran Talib down at the NFC 15-yard line — 66 yards from where the play started — and forced a fumble, but Talib recovered it to seal the win.

"We had a chance to win it at the end," McCoy said. "We played hard. I think Mike (Evans) had a good time. I know I had a good time. At the end, the money was on the line, and then pride kicks in and guys don't want to embarrass themselves. They want to show why they're here. I think the level of play was good."

McCoy said he was proud of his sack — "any sack you can get, whether it's practice, whenever, always feels good" — but he's glad to be able to take a break now and rest his body as he gears up for the 2017 season.

"I'm about to go lay down," he said. "My foot is hurting. My back is hurting. My shoulder hurts. My hands are freezing. I am done."

Contact Greg Auman at and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

Now that Pro Bowl's done, rest ahead for Mike Evans and Gerald McCoy 01/30/17 [Last modified: Monday, January 30, 2017 6:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander


    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Blake Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.


    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)