The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hope to keep a good thing going after back-to-back wins and a bye week, as they head out on the road to face the Cleveland Browns in Week 12.
Here are the top storylines for the Bucs heading into Sunday’s game:
(Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
Just a few weeks ago, the Bucs were reeling at 3-5, and appeared destined for a top-10 draft pick instead of the postseason. But now they’re back at .500 after a last-second win over the Los Angeles Rams and an impressive victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Germany, and they remain in first place in the NFC South.
The bye week gave the Bucs an opportunity to get some much-needed rest, and allow some key players to get back to full strength. The challenge for Tampa Bay now becomes keeping that positive momentum going after two straight victories, and avoiding a letdown in a tough road environment.
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Mike Evans has already broken every conceivable receiving record the Bucs have, but he’s also climbing the NFL’s all-time list at an impressive clip. Evans needs just 28 receiving yards to eclipse 10,000 for his career, adding yet another impressive accomplishment to a what’s already a strong case for Canton.
Evans would become just the 51st player in NFL history to hit that mark, and considering he’s still just 29 years old, he’s got plenty of time to keep climbing that chart. Only four active players in the league have more receiving yards than Evans, who is the only receiver in NFL history to start his career with eight consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, and he needs just 329 more yards this year to make it nine in a row.
(AP Photo/Don Montague)
Two Bucs have already been ruled out for Sunday’s game, as wide receiver Russell Gage (hamstring) and left guard Luke Goedeke (foot) are still dealing with nagging ailments.
Running back Leonard Fournette (hip) has been ruled out after initially being listed as doubtful on the team’s final injury report, which should mean another week with rookie Rachaad White handling the bulk of the workload in the offensive backfield. Defensive lineman Vita Vea (foot) is questionable, and the team is hopeful he’ll be able to go despite missing practice for much of the week.
Browns cornerback Greg Newsome has also been ruled out for the game, leaving Cleveland without one of their better defenders.