Mike Evans believes he'll be even stronger for this Sunday's must-win contest at the New Orleans Saints.  Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers WR Mike Evans hopes to be 'closer to 100%' vs. Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Mike Evans suffered a hyperextended left knee in the Week 17 win over the Atlanta Falcons and wasn't at his best for last Saturday's wild-card matchup against the Washington Football Team. 

One wouldn't have known Evans was hurting simply by looking at the box score, though, as he led Tampa Bay with six receptions for 119 yards in the 31-23 win at Washington. 

The 27-year-old believes he'll be even stronger for this Sunday's must-win contest at the New Orleans Saints. 

"God is good," Evans said on Wednesday, per Jenna Laine of ESPN. "I'm happy. I dodged a bullet there with the hyperextension. Training staff did a great job. Got a lot of rest. A lot of praying. And it worked out for me. I'm feeling fresher. Hopefully, I can go into this game closer to 100%." 

There were concerns after the Jan. 3 victory over Atlanta that Evans suffered a season-ending setback until an MRI showed no structural damage to the knee. He improved during midweek recovery sessions enough to play and then proved to be far more than just a decoy at Washington. 

"It meant a lot. I haven't been to the playoffs — it was my first time, first game in the playoffs. I was excited to play," Evans explained. "It just meant a lot to be out there and to try to make plays to help my team win. The goal is to do enough each week to play the next week, so that's what we're doing this week."

Quarterback Tom Brady needs Evans to be as fit as possible come Sunday. New Orleans swept Tampa Bay in the season series and is listed as a three-point favorite by BetOnline.ag to go through to the conference title game. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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