TAMPA — So this is what it’s like to finally get out of the mud.Breshad Perriman is sitting at his locker, quietly talking about his last two games. His sweatshirt hood is over his head and still facing his locker. He’s recorded more receiving yards the past two weeks than his first nine games in Tampa Bay combined, but he’s still low key about it.Then he feels the crowd at his back, looks over his shoulder and sees the scrum of media suddenly wanting to talk to him.“I could at least stand up,” Perriman rises and smiles, drops the hood and adjusts his knitted cap before he addresses the group at his locker. “Let me take my hood off. .. I don’t want my skully all messed up.”This is Perriman’s moment in the spotlight, in more ways than one. He’s waited for it. He’s worked for it. He’s struggled to get to this point.The Bucs will be without their top receiver, Mike Evans, this week in Detroit, and probably for the last three games of the season. When Evans left last Sunday’s game after hobbling into the end zone with a pulled right hamstring, the Bucs needed Perriman — the team’s No. 3 receiver — to step up, and he did, averaging 23.3 yards on three catches, including a game-winning touchdown reception that gave the Bucs a 38-35 win over Indianapolis.Over the past two games, Perriman has eight catches for 157 yards and a touchdown. Before then, he had just 139 yards on the season. His catch percentage of 34.4. percent (11 catches on 32 targets) was one of the NFL’s lowest.“I never really had a doubt in my mind,” Perriman said of his recent contributions. “I knew it was going to come. Stuff happens when maybe you don’t get the ball this week. You know, that’s a part of the game. You really can’t control that. I have always just tried to focus on controlling what I can control, and when opportunity comes be ready.”Perriman, 26, struggled to find his role in the Bucs offense. Much of the passing game goes through the 1,000-yard receiving duo of Evans and Chris Godwin. The Bucs signed Perriman in the offseason to stretch the field with his speed.And five games into his season, Perriman had just three catches for 16 yards. He had been slowed by a hamstring injury he suffered early in the Bucs’ Week 4 game in Los Angeles, and missed the following two games.Bucs coach Bruce Arians said he never doubted that Perriman would eventually become a contributor. Over his career, he's a better second-half player, and once he was healthy, Arians believed it was a matter of time.“He had such a great spring, had a great camp, lit it up against the Dolphins [in the preseason], it’s just going to be opportunities," Arians said. "... That’s just the life of being a three, four or five receiver. One and two are getting theirs. Who gets the other ones — somebody is probably going to have their lip poked out. [Perriman] has never done that. He just comes to work ready for his chance. The last two weeks, it’s been there.”And inside the Bucs facility, Perriman's teammates rave about him.“He’s just a resilient dude, man,” Godwin said. “And he’s such a team guy. He was never angry when the production might not have been there. He just kept his head low and worked. He’s always kept his spirits high and just did his job. Now the opportunities are coming to him more, and he’s ready to take full advantage of it.”Said Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston: “Breshad Perriman rarely goes a day without staying after to work on his routes or to work on catching, whether its (the) JUGS (machine) or balls from me. He’s consistently working and I think any time someone is consistently trying to get better every single day, as the year goes on, their hard work eventually pays off — and it has, definitely, for him.”The Bucs are Perriman’s fourth team in 16 months. In September of last season, the Ravens — the team that drafted Perriman 26th overall out of UCF in 2015 — cut him. He was out of a job for two weeks before Washington signed him, but his stay there wouldn’t last the end of September.Perriman signed with the Browns in mid-October, and he had a fantastic end of the season there, posting eight catches for 233 yards as Cleveland won three of its last four games. Baker Mayfield raved about him. The Browns had an agreement to bring Perriman back, but then traded for Odell Beckham, Jr., and allowed Perriman out of his deal.He landed with the Bucs on a one-year, $4 million deal."I've been through it before," Perriman said. "At the same time, every time you go through it, it's a different battle. It's just tough. I just tell myself all the time, my mom, my girl, everybody, I've got people around me praying for me, and just stay patient and wait my time."Few players went through more obstacles to begin a career. His rookie campaign ended before it began when he suffered a season-ending ACL injury.The following March, one of his best friends on the team, cornerback Tray Walker, died in a dirt bike accident in South Florida. Two months later, his father, former NFL receiver Brett Perriman, suffered a stroke. And in June, Perriman suffered another knee injury during OTAs.He was able to avoid surgery, but he never became the player the Ravens expected and after three years, Perriman was among the team's final cuts last season.“It definitely made me smarter and made me stronger,” Perriman said. “Anytime time you go through challenges — of course you don’t want to go through it in a perfect world — but at the same time, it ain’t going to do nothing but make you better.”Perriman says this is the best receiver room he’s been a part of, and gradually, he has become a contributor. He caught his first touchdown pass in Week 9 in Seattle, a heady catch in the end zone off a deflected pass. Two weeks ago, he caught five balls on six targets for a season-high 87 yards in a win in Jacksonville.On Sunday, Winston connected with Perriman on a 31-yard gain that set up the Bucs’ first touchdown. On the play, Winston rolled right and drew defenders toward him, then lofted a pass over them to Perriman, who made a sparkling one-handed grab on the run.Perriman bookended the Bucs’ game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, starting the drive with a 27-yard catch on a deep ball from Winston, then hauling in a 12-yard touchdown pass with a diving catch on the left side of the end zone.Opportunities will continue to present themselves over the final three weeks, and Perriman showed last season the kind of asset he can be down the stretch.“Looking back at it, I’m glad it went the way it did,” Perriman said. “I can say that now that it’s going better. But when you’re going through it, it’s like, ‘Dang.’ It’s a blessing to be in the position I’m in now regardless of how things went. It just feels way better, just knowing you were able to get out of the mud basically.” Contact Eduardo A. Encina at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @EddieInTheYard.