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Bucs QB Jameis Winston on WR Mike Evans: 'I've got his back'

QB Jameis Winston, above, says he talked to Mike Evans about the receiver’s national anthem protest and respects his beliefs.
QB Jameis Winston, above, says he talked to Mike Evans about the receiver’s national anthem protest and respects his beliefs.
Published Nov. 17, 2016

TAMPA — QB Jameis Winston normally makes big plays on offense throwing passes to WR Mike Evans, but Wednesday he played a little defense for the Bucs' embattled receiver.

Winston said Evans is highly regarded among teammates and he respects the receiver's right to not stand for the national anthem before Sunday's 36-10 win over the Bears.

Evans said Monday he has ended his protest of the election of Donald Trump as president and will stand for the anthem Sunday at Kansas City.

"Yeah, I talked to him about it. I respect his beliefs. I've got his back," Winston said. "Mike is a stand-up guy. One of the greatest guys on this football team. What he does on the field, what he does off the field, the type of man that he is speaks for itself.

"I know he's a man of his word. He's a grown man, and so he's accountable. Mike is an amazing dude, and he has tremendous respect for everyone."

INJURY UPDATE: Two key players who missed Sunday's game with injuries — G Kevin Pamphile (concussion) and WR Russell Shepard (hip) — were back and fully participated in practice. C Joe Hawley (knee) back in a limited capacity.

The Bucs are still without RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot), TE Luke Stocker (ankle) and C Evan Smith (knee). Smith is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with a sprain suffered Sunday.

BIG ADDITION: Continuing to tweak the depth on the defensive line, the Bucs claimed DT Sealver Siliga (pronounced Silver SEE-ling-gah) off waivers from the Seahawks.

Siliga, 26, played from 2013-15 with the Patriots and has 89 career tackles and 5.5 sacks. He brings considerable size at 6 feet 2 and 325 pounds.

To make room for him on the roster, the Bucs waived undrafted rookie DL Channing Ward, who had stepped up as the Bucs dealt with injuries earlier in the season but was inactive Sunday as injured players returned to the lineup.

THIS AND THAT: What was offensive coordinator Todd Monken thinking as Winston scrambled back 25 yards into his end zone before heaving a 39-yard pass to Evans on Sunday? "Safety," he said. "(But) those are the plays (Winston) can make, and that's what you love about him, his competitive spirit, his will to want to make every play." … The Bucs added three players to their practice squad, bringing back RB Russell Hansbrough, who was waived Saturday, and signing OL Kyler Kerbyson and DE Kourtnei Brown, both of whom were with the Bucs in the preseason and among the final cuts. … Among the many ties between the Bucs and Chiefs: Bucs tight ends coach Jon Embree, a Chiefs assistant from 2006-08, will go up against his son Taylor, a first-year defensive assistant with Kansas City.