Cincinnati Bengals need to utilize Chris Evans more on offense

Chris Evans, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Chris Evans, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals spent a sixth-round pick on Chris Evans out of Michigan to bolster their run game and so far, Evans has done very little for the team. That’s seemingly been out of his control, however, as time and time again, the rookie is ignored in the offensive game plan.

So far this season, Evans has appeared in eight games and has done more as a pass-catcher than he has as a runner. Evans has nine catches for 115 yards and a touchdown while totaling just 18 yards rushing off of four carries.

When Evans was carving up defenses during the preseason, Stripe Hype’s own Eric Bruns discussed how the rookie out of Michigan could fill former Bengal Giovani Bernard’s shoes. Bernard wound up in Tampa Bay and the Bengals seemed to have the perfect candidate to replace him, only they’ve been using Samaje Perine in that role instead and it’s not really working.

Chris Evans deserves more playing time for Cincinnati Bengals

In Cincinnati’s defense, Evans had a hamstring injury that kept him out of the Week 8 loss to New York but he was back in action for this past week’s blowout loss to the Browns. Even still, he was present for just 4% of the offensive snaps, which is disappointing to say the least, especially with how lackluster Perine looked as a pass-catcher.

The Bengals need a running back who can catch passes and Perine has proven time and time again that he’s not that guy. Why wasn’t Evans the one out there on the key 4th down attempt? Why is Zac Taylor continuing to underutilize Evans?

Week 6 looked like the beginning of the Chris Evans breakout (he had three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown and all four of his carries in that game) but he’s done very little since then. Evans was drafted for a reason and it’s been disappointing not seeing him get a chance to showcase what he can do.

At the very least, getting Evans in as a pass-catching threat is a good start. He doesn’t even have to replace Perine as the backup running back, just put him in there on short-yard situations and let him go to work.

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Perhaps this is an easy starting point for Taylor when the Bengals exit the BYE week and head to Las Vegas for Week 11’s showdown with the Raiders.