Washington Redskins free safety Leomont Evans will not practice this week or play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills, but has put aside thoughts of retirement after an MRI exam conducted yesterday showed no severe injury.
Evans suffered a concussion in Sunday's 48-22 victory over the Chicago Bears. Monday, with the severity of the injury still unknown, Evans had said he would consider retirement.
Evans will undergo a follow-up exam Nov. 10 to determine whether he will be cleared to play Nov. 14 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Matt Stevens, who took over for Evans against the Bears, will start alongside strong safety Sam Shade on Sunday, Coach Norv Turner said yesterday. Stevens had two interceptions against Chicago--one as the clock expired in the first half, and another that he returned 25 yards in the fourth quarter. The subsequent drive, however, ended with the Bears blocking a 51-yard field goal attempt.
"It's disappointing that Leo has to miss, but obviously we're going to do what's in his best interests," Turner said. "Matt has gotten experience playing in the third-down stuff, and I expect him to play well."
Evans underwent the MRI and was examined by team physician Anthony Casolaro, as well as a neurologist at Arlington Hospital.
Redskins trainer Bubba Tyer said Evans suffered a mild to moderate concussion during the Chicago game when he slammed helmets with teammate Kenard Lang, a 277-pound defensive end. Evans was knocked unconscious briefly and suffered headaches and blurred vision the following day.
"I asked the doctor [Casolaro] about [whether it was a] career-ending episode," Tyer said. "He said from what he has seen now, that's not right. The MRI was read as normal."
Evans, who stopped by Redskin Park after getting his test results, said he still didn't feel completely normal yesterday, but felt well enough to play Sunday.
"Overall, I think I'm going to be better," Evans said. "They're going to reevaluate me next week, so I'm not sure about playing next week. If it was up to me, I would play. I didn't want to sit out this week."
Evans, 25, had been concerned about the injury because he had suffered a more severe concussion during his college career at Clemson. But with the doctors' report yesterday, he said he had dismissed thoughts of retiring.
"If it was something serious, then I was definitely thinking about retiring," Evans said. "All my tests came out good. So that put that [idea] out the door, right there. Other than that, I was a little disappointed I couldn't play."