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For the first time in his eight-year career, wide receiver Lee Evans is heading into the offseason with a sense of uncertainty about his future.
Evans, who is signed through next season, said he is still reeling from the AFC championship loss to New England and hasn’t started thinking about what next season might hold for him.
“It’s not really on my mind,” Evans said. “It’s the furthest thing from my mind right now. So, I don’t know.”
The end of the Ravens’ season brought a crushing conclusion to the most frustrating year of Evans’ career.
In his first season with the Ravens, Evans dealt with a lingering ankle injury, struggled to get established in the offense and had a go-ahead touchdown pass get popped out of his hands in the final seconds of the AFC championship.
“I’m going through this offseason differently than I went into any other, with a tough sense that I really let an opportunity get away,” Evans said. “I mean, it’s tough.”
As Evans had some more time to reflect on Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Patriots, where cornerback Sterling Morre dislodged the touchdown pass out of his grasps with 22 seconds remaining, he said the pain of the loss still stung.
“Emotionally, the game is still there,” Evans said. “What happened, how it happened, it’s still hard to deal with.”
Evans finished the regular season with four catches for 74 yards in nine games, and added four more grabs for 69 yards in the playoffs. Before this season, Evans averaged 53 catches a year.
Despite the struggles, he called his one season with the Ravens “a blessing,” as he had the chance to experience playoff football for the first time.
“It’s been an unbelievable experience playing with the men that I played with this year,” Evans said. “And at the end, that’s the most difficult part – feeling and being a part of something special and when it comes down to it, not really doing your part. I think that’s the most frustrating.”