There are high hopes for Cincinnati Bengals second-year running back Chris Evans among the fanbase. After a rookie season with limited offensive snaps with flashes of potential, many are looking for Evans to take a leap and become the primary second back behind Joe Mixon.
- Position: Running Back
- Height: 5-11
- Weight: 219
- Born: October 5, 1997 in Indianapolis, IN
- College: Michigan
Evans is entering the second year of his four-year rookie contract with a cap number of $868,222.
After an electric start at Michigan, Evans found himself in a bit of hot water. Academic issues caused Evans to be away from the team for the entire season. His fifth-year senior season in 2020 was cut to only six games due to the Covid-19 shortened season and Michigan missing games due to outbreaks, but Evans was just glad to be back on the field.
His time in Ann Arbor showed flashes of his potential in multiple facets of the game. As a pure running back, Evans showed the speed and elusiveness to take routine runs the distance, while also being a weapon out of the backfield in the passing game.
While his rollercoaster ride in college didn’t land him atop any draft boards, the tape was enough to make the Bengals take a late-round gamble.
Outlook for 2022
Evans spent most of the 2021 season buried below Mixon and Samaje Perine, but did get a few chances to showcase his skills in the regular season. The most notable was his touchdown catch against the Detroit Lions in Week 6 of 2021. It was a chance to get a glimpse of his speed and catching ability and what he could bring to the offense.
Time on the field was sparse for him, but there was a chance for him to showcase his skills in the return game late in the season, where he logged a season-long return of 29 yards. Zac Taylor and Brian Callahan also put Evans out in passing sets on long distance, but the targets primarily didn’t go his way.
With Perine still on the roster, this could be one of the more intriguing battles to follow as training camp opens at the end of July. Fans on social media seem to have big expectations for Year 2, but Evans will have to prove to the coaches that he’s ready to emerge as the second back.
One of the bigger areas Evans will need to improve upon is pass blocking. With Mixon’s own ability to pass block and catch the ball out of the backfield, it may be hard to make a case for taking him off the field at all.
80% As mentioned before, this will be a battle to watch in camp. With Mixon being a lock, Perine being the incumbent backup and Evans skillset, it is safe to bet that all three make the final roster, but with other viable candidates and competition, Evans isn’t necessarily a lock.