ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans put the past in the past twice Saturday night.
First, the rookie caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Josh McCown in the second quarter of Tampa Bay’s 27-14 victory against Buffalo. That helped make up for last week when Evans, who was carrying the ball in the wrong arm, was stripped and fumbled at the 1-yard line against Miami.
“I was telling everybody I was going to try to redeem myself," Evans said. “I did and I’m happy I got in. I talked to (defensive tackle) Clinton McDonald (who scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery) and I said, “Why you got to score one before me?’’
But getting in the end zone wasn’t the only thing Evans was asked about. He became the center of controversy Friday when TMZ aired a video of Evans in a brawl at a Miami nightclub. TMZ initially reported the incident happened last week. But Evans and his agent said it took place in March, two months before he was drafted No. 7 overall by Tampa Bay.
“Honestly, I forgot about the whole situation," Evans said. “I put that behind me and it came up. I guess somebody’s trying to make some money or something. I don’t know what it is. I put it behind me. The situation was unfortunate. I could have handled it better and I plan on handling it better in the future. It happened and I can’t change it. But I put it behind me and I’m just worried about the season."
The Bucs said Evans has been a model citizen since joining the team.
“As I said, I’m aware of it," Bucs coach Lovie Smith said. “Mike, as a 20-year-old, before he became a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, got into a fight. We couldn’t be more pleased to have him on our football team. We started judging Mike from the time he became a Tampa Bay Buccaneer."