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Did Jameis Winston unveil two more dangerous weapons?

Mike Evans’ absence created a void in the Bucs receiving corps. Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson stepped in Sunday to fill it.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Breshad Perriman (19) makes a catch for a touchdown over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Quincy Wilson (31) during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Sunday, December 8, 2019.  [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Breshad Perriman (19) makes a catch for a touchdown over Indianapolis Colts cornerback Quincy Wilson (31) during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Sunday, December 8, 2019. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]
Published Dec. 9, 2019

TAMPA — On the practice fields, Breshad Perriman and Justin Watson have caught more passes than they could ever count from Jameis Winston. But being involved in a Bucs passing offense that runs through its pair of 1,000-yards wideouts, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, those looks dwindle every Sunday.

But when Evans went down Sunday with a hamstring injury in the first quarter of the Bucs’ 38-35 win over Indianapolis, Perriman and Watson served as unlikely but capable heroes. They were two among nine Bucs who made receptions on the day and helped Winston rally the Bucs from a two-touchdown, second-half deficit.

Perriman, a free-agent signing acquired to stretch the field, has been largely inconsistent this season. Through five games he caught less than a fifth of the passed thrown his way (3 of 16 targets).

Watson recorded just 26 offensive snaps before Sunday. But with rookie receiver Scotty Miller and punt returner T.J. Logan injured, Watson figured to play a more prominent role on Sunday.

Watson, who entered the day with just two career receptions, had five catches for 59 yards, including his first NFL touchdown in the third quarter.

And Perriman followed his best game in last week’s win in Jacksonville by catching the game-winning touchdown pass with 3:51 remaining Sunday.

“Those guys go to work every day and they were prepared," Winston said. “The opportunity presented itself and they were ready.”

Godwin led the Bucs with 91 receiving yards but had just one second-half catch for 11 yards. Perriman and Watson helped pick up the slack.

“Everybody gets the reps,” said tight end O.J. Howard, who had a season-high 73 receiving yards on four catches. “Everybody’s in the meeting room every day when coach is going over the routes individually. Guys take notes. You’re a professional and when one man goes down, another man has to step up."

Perriman’s day started with a one-handed third-down catch that helped set up the Bucs’ first touchdown of the day. On the play, Winston rolled right, drew pressure and lofted a pass to Perriman, who turned it into a 31-yard gain.

Watson’s touchdown was a big one, bringing the Bucs within a touchdown with 2:41 left in the third quarter at 35-28.

“More than anything I was more worried about being the punt returner,” Watson said. "So being a receiver, that’s easy, that’s something I do every day for my whole life. I was just glad the results showed the work."

After just overthrowing Perriman earlier in the game on a deep ball that would likely have been a touchdown, Winston pinpointed a throw to Perriman in when it mattered most, hitting a diving Perriman in the left corner of the end zone.

“I kind of knew it was coming to me because it was man to man,” Perriman said. “Jameis put it in the perfect spot where only I could catch it. .... That’s how our vibe is. He will let me know he’s still coming for me. And I let him know I’ve got his back. No matter whose fault it is. Regardless, I can always do better to help me make that catch. That’s just the type of relationship we got and the type of relationship he had with everyone on the team."

Perriman has eight catches on 11 targets for 157 yards the last two games after previously making just 11 catches on 32 targets for 139 yards.

”I feel like I’m doing the same things that I was doing in the beginning of the season," Perriman said. “It’s just I go out there and practice and work hard like I’ve been doing all year. I just feel like everybody’s clicking right now. The receiver group and me and Jameis personally. We’ve just been clicking.”

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at Follow @EddieInTheYard.


  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, center, talks with kids while playing games during the fourth annual Dream Forever Foundation Football Camp held last June in Tampa. [SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Winston, who played at Florida State, is from Alabama, where the private historically black liberal arts college is located.
  2. In this Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) on the sidelines,during the first half at an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins in Miami Gardens. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File) [LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP]
    The wide receiver’s trainer was arrested following accusations that he and Brown attacked another man near Brown’s home, authorities said.
  3. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) calls a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. [CHARLIE RIEDEL  |  AP]
    A report from the NFL Network says there’s increasing chatter about Rivers and the Bucs at the Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, Ala.
  4. Former Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis, left, started a Twitter beef with San Francisco's Richard Sherman, right, on Sunday. [TIMES FILES, ASSOCIATED  PRESS]
    The former Pro Bowl cornerback throws shade at the 49ers star for not shadowing top receivers.
  5. San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, center, is interviewed by Terry Bradshaw after the NFL NFC Championship football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. The 49ers won 37-20 to advance to Super Bowl 54 against the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) [MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP]
    San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch joins an impressive list of former Bucs players, coaches and executives to reach the Super Bowl in recent years.
  6. San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert, who finishes with 220 yards rushing and four TDs, breaks away from the Green Bay Packers during the first half of their NFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. [TONY AVELAR  |  AP]
    Little-known Raheem Mostert, a former skateboarder-turned-surfer-turned-football player out of New Smyrna Beach High, has a historic game, rushing for 220 yards and four touchdowns.
  7. Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill catches a touchdown pass in front of Tennessee Titans defensive back Logan Ryan during the first half of the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. [CHARLIE RIEDEL  |  AP]
    KC falls behind once again, this time 10-0, before rallying in the AFC Championship Game.
  8. East quarterback James Morgan, of Florida International University, (12) during the first half of the East West Shrine football game Saturday. [CHRIS O'MEARA  |  AP]
    Morgan, who leads his East team to a pair of touchdowns, raises his draft stock as do a few others the Bucs should keep an eye on.
  9. Jason Garrett had success against the Giants as Cowboys coach. Now he will face Dallas as New York's new offensive coordinator. [RON JENKINS  |  AP]
    The recently fired Dallas Cowboys coach stays in the NFC East.
  10. Steve Young was a supplemental draft pick of the Bucs in 1984 and started 19 games for Tampa Bay in 1985 and 1986 before he was traded to the 49ers for a pair of draft picks in 1987. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS [Tampa Bay Times]
    The Hall of Fame quarterback played two seasons with Tampa Bay before winning a Super Bowl with the 49ers