Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans became the first player in NFL history to top 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first seven seasons when he exceeded the mark in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.
Evans set the record when he caught a 20-yard pass from Tom Brady with approximately one minute remaining in the quarter. He had shared the record of six at the start of a career with Hall of Famer Randy Moss.
Evans needed 40 yards entering the contest. He caught three passes for 46 in the quarter.
One play after the record-setting catch, Evans was wide open in the end zone but dropped the pass. Replays show he injured his left knee just before the ball arrived and he was down on the turf before being helped off and taken to the locker room.
Evans didn’t return to the game and reportedly underwent an MRI exam.
“Knock on wood, we don’t think there’s any serious damage. We’ll know more in the next 24 hours,” coach Bruce Arians said after the game.
Evans has 70 receptions for 1,066 yards and a franchise-record 13 touchdown catches this season.
The Buccaneers (11-5) cruised to a 44-27 victory over the Falcons on Sunday to clinch the fifth seed in the NFC. They will play the NFC East champion on the road in the club’s first postseason game in 13 years.