Buccaneers third-year wide receiver Mike Evans has the size (6-5, 230) and agility to beat any kind of coverage in any part of the field, so he’ll be a test for Tracy Porter and the Bears’ young cornerbacks. Evans is tied for fourth in the NFL in receptions (55), fifth in yards (745) and leads the league with eight touchdown catches. He’s on a pace for 110 receptions for 1,490 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Evans is coming off his most productive game of the season — 11 receptions for 150 yards and two touchdowns in a 43-28 loss to the Falcons.
“He’s a tough assignment,” Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “He’s got the size-speed-hands combination that is rare. And the quarterback [Jameis Winston] feels good throwing to him and knows he’s got a big catch radius so he throws it up there.”
The Bears have allowed three 100-yard pass receivers — the Colts’ T.Y. Hilton (10-171, 1 TD), the Packers’ Davante Adams (13-132, 2 TDs) and the Texans’ Will Fuller (6-107, 1 TD).
The Bears are 0-4 on the road this season — their last road victory was against the Buccaneers (26-21) in Week 16 last season. The Buccaneers, though, are 0-4 at home this season — allowing 34.3 points per game in losses to the Rams (37-32), Broncos (27-7), Raiders (30-24) and Falcons (43-28). In fact, the Bucs have lost 18 of their last 21 home games.
PLAYER TO WATCH
In his second game since being activated following offseason knee surgery, Bears outside linebacker Pernell McPhee seemed to shake of the rust he had against the Packers with one sack and four quarterback hits against the Vikings on Oct. 31. Having played just one game in the previous 23 days, McPhee figures to be even more active against the Buccaneers.
Both teams could have key players back Sunday. Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman, who has missed the past six games with a high ankle sprain, practiced on a limited basis this week and is questionable. Buccaneers running back Doug Martin, who was second in the NFL in rushing last year (1,402 yards) but has missed the last six games of this season with a hamstring injury, also is questionable. Both players are expected to be game-time decisions.
Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson, out all season with a broken foot, is eligible to be activated after returning to practice this week.