Evans Still Fighting To Make Impact

The offense could use more big-play receptions like Lee Evans made Sunday.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Categories: Divisional Vs Texans, Garrett Downing

Lee Evans showed Sunday that he can’t be forgotten. 

His one-handed sideline grab in the 20-13 win over Houston was the kind of catch the Ravens have wanted to see from Evans all along, and it served as a reminder that he still has an opportunity to make some game-changing plays this postseason.

“I think it brought a smile to everybody’s face,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said Monday. “We’ll be looking forward to more of that.”

The 30-yard catch was arguably the most impressive play of the game and a bright spot in a season that has been frustrating for the eight-year veteran.

“Big plays don’t happen a lot in the playoffs, so when you can get them, whenever they come, it’s big for us,” Evans said.

Evans hadn’t made a catch in more than a month heading into the divisional round and he has just five receptions the entire year. Offseason expectations that he would be the dynamic deep threat the Ravens long desired haven’t materialized, in part due to an injury that derailed his season early.

But Sunday’s play flashed what the Ravens saw in Evans when they traded for him this summer.

“Seeing that play get made you get kind of excited,” Harbaugh said. “You say, ‘Hey you know what, he’s certainly capable of making those plays. We’ve seen him make them his whole career.’”

Evans was a dangerous receiver in his seven seasons with the Buffalo Bills, twice topping the 1,000-yard receiving mark, but that success hasn’t translated to the Ravens. Since missing seven games with an ankle injury, Evans has primarily worked as the team’s third wide receiver behind Anquan Boldin and rookie Torrey Smith.

With the development of tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson, opportunities have been limited for Evans to make big contributions, and he is typically only on the field in long-yardage situations.

Evans is taking a patient approach, like he has all season, and the coaches are confident that he still has some big plays left during his first-ever trip to the playoffs.

“He’s huge for us anytime,” Harbaugh said. “We would have liked for Lee to be involved with us, obviously, all the way through. It’s something that we’d like to see as we go forward here, trying to get that done, we’re not going to stop trying to get that done.”

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