Bills WR Evans out for season with ankle injury

Buffalo Bills receiver Lee Evans was placed on season-ending

injured reserve on Tuesday, two days after sustaining a sprained

ankle in Buffalo’s win over Cleveland.

Evans was hurt at the end of Jonathan Stupar’s 35-yard reception

in the second quarter. Evans was attempting to hold off a defender

from catching Stupar from behind when he fell awkwardly while

appearing to trip over his teammate’s leg.

The 2004 first-round pick had a disappointing season, finishing

with 37 catches for 578 yards and four touchdowns. It’s his lowest

reception total of his career, and seven less than his previous low

of 44 catches in 2009.

The Bills also placed tight end Shawn Nelson on the Reserve,

Non-Football Injury/Illness list because of migraine headaches.

Evans’ streak of playing in 109 straight games, including 71

consecutive starts, will be snapped on Sunday when the Bills (3-10)

play at the Miami Dolphins (7-6). The 71 total was the

second-longest active streak for a receiver, behind Indianapolis’

Reggie Wayne (126).

Evans’ role this season had diminished with the emergence of

Steve Johnson, who leads the team with 66 receptions for 874 yards

and nine touchdowns. Those figures, clearly though, were helped by

opposing defenses rotating coverages in Evans’ direction.

”We’ll see what (defenses) do, but obviously they will probably

pay more attention to Stevie (Johnson) now, even though defenses

have been paying attention to him pretty much since the first

couple weeks,” quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. ”We’ll see how

they adjust, and we’re going to make some adjustments too, in terms

of putting some guys in different spots. It will be interesting to

see what happens on Sunday.”

The Bills receiving corps now consists of the seventh-round pick

Johnson, and undrafted free agents David Nelson, Donald Jones and

Naaman Roosevelt.

Evans is the second Buffalo receiver to have his season cut

short because of an injury. Roscoe Parrish has been out since

breaking his wrist in a loss to Chicago in Toronto on Nov. 7.

Evans is ranked third on the Bills all-time list with 43

receiving touchdowns. He trails only Andre Reed (86) and Eric

Moulds (48).

Shawn Nelson had missed the past three games after he began to

suffer from migraines. He also missed the first four games after

being suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He

had just three catches in five games.

The Bills also signed guard Colin Brown and tackle Erik Pears to

the 53-man roster on Tuesday, and signed receiver Bobby Williams to

the team’s practice squad. Offensive lineman Marc Dile was released

from the practice squad.