Washington Redskins starting free safety Leomont Evans, who suffered a concussion during Sunday's 48-22 win over the Chicago Bears, said yesterday he hopes to return to the lineup soon but will consider retiring if doctors tell him he would be taking a serious risk by continuing to play.
Retirement "definitely goes through your mind," Evans said. "It depends on how I feel the next couple days. If it gets better, then I'll just suck it up and go out there and hope it doesn't happen again. [But] it's scary. It's real scary. The first thing I thought about was my family. I'm young. I have young kids."
Evans, 25, said he suffered memory loss Sunday and still had a headache and vision problems yesterday. He was examined by doctors Sunday and yesterday and is scheduled to be examined again today at Arlington Hospital by club physician Anthony Casolaro. He may undergo a CAT scan today, he said.
"I'm not feeling too good right now . . . [but] from what they tell me, I should be all right," Evans said.
Team officials seemed to believe that Evans's concussion is relatively minor and he probably could play this week or next week. Coach Norv Turner said it's possible that Evans could play in Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills at Redskins Stadium.
"I hope I just get through this," Evans said. "I hope I'm feeling a whole lot better so I can get out there and do my job, do what I love doing. . . . I don't ever want to take time off. But it's something where you want to be cautious. You see it all around the league right now."
Said Turner: "The doctors feel there's a chance he could play [against the Bills], but we're going to be very careful and very thorough with it. Whatever the decision is, we'll make sure he's comfortable with it."
Evans was hurt Sunday when he and Redskins defensive end Kenard Lang collided helmet-to-helmet while combining on a tackle.
He was unconscious when head trainer Bubba Tyer arrived by his side on the field Sunday, but regained consciousness after a few seconds and walked off the field. Evans said he didn't regain his memory about the play on which he was hurt and the rest of the game until yesterday.
"I didn't remember anything that happened or even playing," he said. "In the locker room at halftime, I was just sitting there. I didn't really remember until [yesterday] morning. I went home [Sunday] night, and I didn't know whether we won or who we played."
Concussions always have been a major concern for NFL players, but that risk has been spotlighted this season as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young, 38, mulls retirement following a string of concussions.
"At his age, if I had as many as he's had, I wouldn't keep playing," said Evans, a fourth-year pro. ". . . It makes you think a lot. It makes you wonder. [Retirement] is definitely in your thoughts. You don't take chances with your head and neck."
Matt Stevens took over for Evans on Sunday, and likely would start against the Bills if Evans is sidelined.
Redskins Notes: Tyer said that starting outside linebacker Shawn Barber could miss practice time this week because of a sprained shoulder, but should be able to play against the Bills. . . . Punter Matt Turk, who had back spasms Sunday, felt better yesterday and may be able to kick by the end of the week, Tyer said. The Redskins plan to keep fill-in punter Brian Hansen and make a decision about Turk's status late in the week. . . . Fullback Larry Bowie, who has been sidelined all season after breaking his leg in training camp, is scheduled to run this week as he nears a possible return.