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
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
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.