Yesterday, wide receiver Lee Evans was asked by a reporter if he would bet on himself playing Sunday against the Jets.
“I’m not a betting man,” Evans said with a smile, happily skirting the question.
And what if the reporter was a betting man?
“If you’re a betting man, then bet,” Evans responded, as he started to laugh. “I don’t know, I don’t know.”
It’s possible Evans is playing coy in an effort to keep the Jets in the dark going into the weekend, but a more likely scenario is that he simply doesn’t know what his status is at this point.
Evans hasn’t played or practiced since the Ravens’ Week 2 game against the Rams because of a lingering left ankle injury. He didn’t participate in yesterday’s session and says he’s unsure of his plans for the rest of the week, but the veteran wide receiver does feel like the recent time off has gotten him back closer to full strength.
“It definitely helped,” Evans said. “I would say it’s better now, but you can’t say it’s all the way back, so we’re still going to take it one day at a time, and be smart heading through this week and into the bye week.
“There’s still some pain in there, so obviously when there’s pain, it just limits you a little bit. I can run, so it’s not necessarily if I can run or not, it’s just being able to maintain it and go for four quarters. It’s not as sore, so it’s (progressing).”
The bye week is a something which will add another dimension to the situation. Given that the Ravens have next week off, they could choose to rest Evans again this week, giving him a full three weeks of time off before their Week 6 game against the Texans.
“(The bye week is) probably a factor,” head coach John Harbaugh said, relating to injured guys like Evans and left guard Ben Grubbs. “If you feel like they can’t be 100 percent in this game and if you have another answer in there, that’s a consideration. It will just depend, as the week goes on, again, how close they are to being 100 percent. But, I think the extra week of rest after this week is a factor.”
Given the nature of the injury and Evans’ reliance on speed to have success, it might make sense for the team to wait until the wide receiver is confident in his ankle before putting him back on the field.
At the same time, the Jets have an incredibly tough cornerback duo in Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, and having Evans out there on Sunday could be a big boost to the Ravens’ passing attack.
It’s a tough call, one I’m glad I don’t have to make.