After sitting out a full month’s worth of practices, Lee Evans has now participated in six straight sessions dating back to last week.
Still, it’s tough to gauge how close the Ravens wide receiver is to returning from his lingering ankle injury.
Evans is listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week, which indicates there’s a 50/50 chance of him playing. Head coach John Harbaugh said today that the eight-year veteran has made strides in his recovery, saying Evans is “definitely getting closer”, but he declined to give any more information than that.
It’s obvious just from watching the speedy wideout move around that he has clearly made progress over the last few weeks. That said, it’s unclear whether that means he’ll be able to play Sunday against the Bengals.
There’s a big difference between having a limited practice and being able to line up and play against an NFL defense. Evans might be able to run full speed and make cuts, but is he confident enough in the ankle to completely turn loose and give it a full go on Sunday?
Seeing as how Evans has yet to have a full practice since suffering the ankle injury way back in September, I have to doubt whether the Ravens would decide to activate him on Sunday. Their goal, after all, is to have Evans healthy and able to play come playoff time, not in Week 11. The last thing they want is their No. 2 receiver suffering a setback while trying to force the issue.
Talking yesterday about how Evans has been coming along, offensive coordinator Cam Cameron gave an interesting take on the situation.
“It’s really going to be predicated on how he practices,” Cameron said. “He probably needs a week or two of good practice. I think that will help, because some of our other guys are playing really well, and we have some other options until he comes back. We’ll see how the practices go.
“If he is practicing at a level that John (Harbaugh) feels and we feel he can help us win the game, then I am sure he will be active. That may take a week or two.”
Evans has now had two weeks of practices under his belt, but has he had two weeks of “good practice?”
Reporters only get to watch a very small portion of practice, but based on that “limited” designation next to his name every day this week, I would say Evans still hasn’t yet reached that level.
That makes me think he might not be ready to play come Sunday afternoon.