The highlights have been few and far between for Lee Evans this season.
Acquired in a late-summer trade with the Bills, Evans looked sharp during the preseason, but an early-season ankle injury caused him to miss seven games and limited his impact in the offense. Overall, Evans made just four catches for 74 yards all season.
In Sunday’s divisional round win over the Texans, however, Evans made a sparkling one-handed grab along the sideline mid-way through the third quarter. The catch went for 30 yards, and while it didn’t end up resulting in a score because the Ravens were unable to convert a fourth down inside the one-yard line, Evans said it was nice to get involved again.
“It was good to make a play in a big game and give our offensive some momentum when we needed it,” Evans said. “I tried to be aggressive and go get the ball.”
Evans, who is used to starting and contributing at a high level from his days in Buffalo, said the grab will help build his confidence going forward.
“Absolutely, I think the main thing is you need to continue to let the defense know you’re still a threat out there,” Evans said. “So, they have to account for you and we can be as dynamic offense as we can be.”
Given that the Ravens are getting ready to go up against the league’s second-worst pass defense (the Patriots allowed 294 passing yards per game during the regular season), it would be nice if Evans could carry that momentum into this Sunday’s game at New England.
The Ravens could give the Patriots some matchup issues if they go to four-wide receiver sets, and while tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson have often been a part of those looks, Evans could provide more of a vertical threat if he’s mixed in a bit.
“We would have liked for Lee to be involved with us, obviously, all the way through,” head coach John Harbaugh said. “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. Like you said, seeing that play get made, you get excited. You say, ‘Hey you know what? He’s certainly capable of making those plays.’
“We’ve seen him make them his whole career. I think it brought a smile to everybody’s face. We’ll be looking forward to more of that.”