In all fairness, Justin Evans suffered a toe injury and one that lingered to the point that he missed the last 6 games due to being placed on IR. In the 10 games that he played, he started in every one of them recording 1 interception – which was down from the 3 he recorded in 2017 – 2 pass defends – which is down from the 8 previously, but still managed an admirable 59 tackles, and 1 fumble recovery.
As far as his stats are concerned the only step back, he took was in interceptions and Pass defends and recording 6 fewer tackles than he did in his rookie season. Those missing 6 games made all the difference in my opinion and if he would have remained healthy wouldn’t be discussed as stepping back. He should start out this season healthy and pick right back up where he left off.
Having a veteran safety back there would have taken up the slack that was left in Justin Evans, and one of the reasons the Buccaneers targeted a veteran safety in free agency early.
#Bucs Jason Licht told NFL radio S Justin Evans took a step back last season. Admitted they didn’t have a “veteran guy,” in the secondary.
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) March 25, 2019