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Chris Evans has earned a bigger role in Bengals offense

The Bengals finally seem to have Giovanni Bernard’s replacement.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

In the Cincinnati Bengals’ 34-11 win over the Detroit Lions, running back Chris Evans made his arrival. The rookie out of the University of Michigan found the end zone and made a handful of plays to help the Bengals' offense get going.

Evans got started early, getting the first points of the contest. With 8:32 left in the first quarter, Joe Burrow lofted a ball toward the end zone and Evans pulled it in with his fingertips.

Evans finished the game with three receptions for 49 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, he added four rushes for 18 yards, one of which set the Bengals up inside the Lions’ 5-yard line for an eventual touchdown.

They’re not necessarily eye-popping stats, but it was a solid outing considering Joe Mixon also totaled 94 yards on the ground and 59 through the air.

The traits the Bengals have seemed to be missing since Giovanni Bernard left showed up Sunday, not only in the passing game but in terms of pass protection as well. You won’t see them in the traditional stat sheet, but Evans had several big blitz pickups in the backfield to give Burrow time to find his receivers.

As Joe Mixon continues to work through his ankle injury, it is a welcome sight for Bengals fans to see another viable weapon in the passing game, whether that be catching the ball or giving the franchise quarterback a few extra seconds to make decisions.

Samaje Perine’s unfortunate trip to the COVID-19 list lead to a big opportunity for Evans, and he made the most of it in his return to the state of Michigan.