Bucs’ Akiem Hicks could miss four weeks with plantar fascia tear

Also, receiver Mike Evans appealed his one-game suspension, but no ruling is expected today.
Saints tight end Taysom Hill runs past Bucs defensive tackle Akiem Hicks during the first half Sunday's game in New Orleans.
Saints tight end Taysom Hill runs past Bucs defensive tackle Akiem Hicks during the first half Sunday's game in New Orleans. [ GERALD HERBERT | AP ]
Published Sept. 20, 2022

TAMPA — The oldest team in the NFL already is starting to show its age.

Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, 32, sustained a plantar fascia tear in his foot during Sunday’s 20-10 win over the Saints and could miss a month, the Tampa Bay Times confirmed Tuesday.

Additionally, backup tackle Josh Wells, 31, who left Sunday’s game with a calf injury, is not expected to play this weekend against the Packers.

Receiver Julio Jones, 33, sustained a knee injury in the season opener at Dallas and did not play at New Orleans. Center Ryan Jensen, 31, is on the injured list after a significant knee injury occurred early in training camp.

Hicks missed 20 games over the past three seasons due to a variety of injuries while with the Bears.

Likewise, Jones missed seven games in each of his two previous seasons before joining the Bucs. He doesn’t practice on Wednesdays, so it will be later in the week before the Bucs can determine whether he can go against the Packers.

The Bucs also could be without receiver Chris Godwin (hamstring), 26, who did not play at New Orleans.

Tampa Bay has the oldest team in the NFL this season with an average age of 27.1.

With Hicks out, it potentially means more playing time for rookie defensive lineman Logan Hall and veteran Rakeem Nunez-Roches.

The Bucs hope to get left tackle Donovan Smith back from a hyperextended elbow he sustained at Dallas. If he can’t play, they will turn to former Seminole High star Brandon Walton, who took 44 snaps at right tackle Sunday.

In an effort to add some receiving depth, the Bucs went the veteran route again and are signing Cole Beasley to their practice squad. He is 33.

Mike Evans update

Receiver Mike Evans, who was suspended one game by the NFL for Sunday’s altercation with Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, pleaded his case in a hearing with James Thrash, the appeals officer approved by the league and the players association. A ruling on the appeal is expected no later than Wednesday.

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