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Buccaneers’ Justin Evans wears walking boot on first day of minicamp

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The third-year safety remained on the sidelines as mandatory minicamp began Tuesday morning.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When the Buccaneers got on the field Tuesday for the first day of mandatory minicamp, third-year safety Justin Evans remained on the sidelines. Greg Auman of The Athletic reported that Evans was wearing a boot on his left foot:

The toe injury that ended his 2018 season has kept Evans out of practice all spring, but the boot popping up on Tuesday indicates that a return is still a ways off. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said after practice Tuesday that Evans underwent another procedure on the injury:

The idea that the boot was worn just to help things “calm down” lines up with a report from ESPN’s Jenna Laine, which said the boot isn’t indicative of a setback:

Laine would later expand on the previous tweet:

Regardless, it’s tough for Evans to not be on the field right now, especially considering the team is installing a new defensive scheme under new coordinator Todd Bowles. With Evans sidelined, other guys are getting a chance to step in and get his reps. Tampa Bay added to the safety position through free agency and the draft, so there is no shortage of guys working to earn Evans’ starting job. This injury and the progress of the team’s secondary is a major storyline to follow throughout minicamp and training camp later this summer.