TAMPA — WR Mike Evans' numbers have been down this season, but he can get a share of NFL history with 54 yards in Sunday's season finale against the Saints. That would give him 1,000 or more yards for the fourth straight year to open his career.
That has happened only twice before — by the Vikings' Randy Moss and the Bengals' A.J. Green — and Evans would appreciate being in that small fraternity and keeping his streak intact.
"It would be dope. I'm going to try to get it," Evans said. "I'm just going to go out there and play my game and try to win, end the year on a positive note."
The Saints held Evans in check in the teams' first meeting this year, a 30-10 New Orleans win; he had one catch for 13 yards. He earned a one-game suspension in that game for putting a blindside hit on Saints rookie CB Marshon Lattimore after Lattimore shoved QB Jameis Winston, on the sideline, after Winston walked onto the filed and poked Lattimore in the helmet.
"He's a great player, having a fantastic season," Evans said of Lattimore, who is going to the Pro Bowl. "The ball just finds him. Physical corner. It's going to be fun to play him again."
Three players who missed Sunday's game against the Panthers with injuries were back practicing Wednesday: WR DeSean Jackson (ankle), CB Ryan Smith (ankle) and DE Robert Ayers (shoulder). They could return against the Saints.
Three others missed practice due to injuries: TE Cameron Brate (hip/knee), WR Chris Godwin (ankle) and LB Devante Bond (ankle). The Bucs already have two rookies on their roster at receiver and linebacker due to injuries.
Rookie Bobo Wilson's first NFL catch was the Bucs' only touchdown in Sunday's loss to Carolina, and the former Florida State receiver was glad to reconnect with former teammate Jameis Winston.
"Coming from Jameis, it felt like the old days," said Wilson, whose catch gave the Bucs a lead in the fourth quarter. "It was a blessing."
He's the second Bucs player this season to get a touchdown on his first (and so far only) catch, following OL Leonard Wester. Only three other players in Bucs history finished their time in Tampa Bay with a touchdown as their only catch: G Randall McDaniel (2000), T Ron Heller (1986) and RB Scott Dierking (1984).
This and that
The Bucs re-signed WR Jake Lampman to the practice squad after releasing him Saturday. … RB Peyton Barber (352 rushing yards) needs to outrush Doug Martin (409) by 58 yards Sunday to finish with the team's season rushing title. The Bucs will likely have a leading rusher with fewer than 600 yards for the fourth time in five seasons. That didn't happen once in 16 seasons from 1997-2012.
Contact Greg Auman at firstname.lastname@example.org and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.