Buccaneers’ Mike Evans sets receiving yards record, leaves game with scary knee injury

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans set an NFL record in receiving yards but, shortly after hitting the mark, he left the game against the Atlanta Falcons with a non-contact knee injury.

It appeared that Evans had slipped on the turf and fell.

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Evans broke Randy Moss’ record with seven consecutive 1,000 receiving yards. He had three catches for 46 yards before he was helped off the field with an apparent knee injury. He came into the game having played in each of Tampa Bay’s 15 games and with 67 catches for 960 yards.

Since he was drafted by the Buccaneers in 2014, Evans had been a machine. He’s had more than 1,000 receiving yards but never had more than 100 catches in a single season. He had a career-high 13 touchdown passes before he left Sunday’s game with a knee injury.

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“I think it’s important for him and us,” Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich said Thursday, via the team’s website. “I think it’s important, really, for this organization to have that. That’s a unique thing. Any time you can be one-of-one of anything – all the special players, all the great players that have come through this league that have done things, played that position – and he has the opportunity to be one-of-one. That’s a unique thing. That just shows you how good a football player he is, and that’s special. Obviously you want him to be able to get it. We’re not going to try to force it. We’re just going to have him play and let Mike be Mike and we’ll see.”

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Tampa Bay will be heading to the playoffs for the first time since the 2007 season.

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