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Bucs place safety Justin Evans, tight end Alan Cross on injured reserve

Both players' seasons were ended on Tuesday, as Evans couldn't shake a nagging toe injury and Cross injured his shoulder on Sunday.
Justin Evans (21) sits on the ground after getting hurt during the Bucs' win over the Eagles in September in Tampa. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Justin Evans (21) sits on the ground after getting hurt during the Bucs' win over the Eagles in September in Tampa. [MONICA HERNDON | Times]
Published Dec. 18, 2018

Bucs safety Justin Evans' season ended Tuesday when the team placed him on injured reserve for a toe injury that has kept him sidelined for four of the past five games.

The team also lost tight end Alan Cross, who suffered a shoulder injury early in Sunday's 20-12 loss to the Ravens. Cross was also placed on IR on Tuesday.

Evans became the fifth Week 1 starter — and third member of the Bucs' starting secondary — to land on injured reserve.

He opened the season strong, running back a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Bucs' season-opening win, and then logged an interception in the team's Monday Night Football game against the Steelers in Week 3.

But he couldn't shake a toe injury he suffered in the Bucs' Week 10 loss to Washington. He returned three weeks later against the Panthers, but played just 25 snaps in that game and has missed the two games since.

With the Bucs already without O.J. Howard for the remainder of the season, the loss of Cross leaves the team's tight end corps even thinner on experience going into the season's final two games.

Behind starter Cameron Brate is second-year tight end Antony Auclair and rookies Tanner Hudson and Donnie Ernsberger, the latter of whom was promoted from the practice squad on Tuesday.

Neither Hudson nor Ernsberger has caught a pass this season.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.