This is CHGO’s Chicago Bears 2022 player preview series. Learn more about each player and what to expect from them this year.
Darrynton Evans is entering his first year with the Chicago Bears after being claimed off waivers in March. He spent his first two seasons with the Tennessee Titans after they drafted him in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Injuries have defined his career as the running back has only been able to play in six games. Evans started last season on injured reserve. He returned Week 7, but got injured again after four touches and was placed back on IR for the remainder of the season.
Advanced Stat to Know: Evans has a career average of 11 yards after the catch per reception (44 YAC / 4 Receptions).
Best Game of
2021 Evans’ Career
Since Evans only appeared in one game in 2021 and has only played in six for his career, let’s look at his best game as a pro.
That came Week 14 in 2020.
Evans had 30 yards rushing on eight attempts. He also had two catches for 27 yards and a touchdown (his only career score). Evans also had an impact on special teams with two kickoff returns for 45 yards.
Does Darrynton Evans have enough durability to make the final roster?
The Bears believe Evans has something to bring to the table. They would not have claimed him off waivers if they thought otherwise.
There’s a lot to like about Evans’ game. First of all, he’s a superior athlete.
In college, Evans was an explosive back that had massive success in multiple roles. He had over 2,800 rushing yards and 300 yards receiving at Appalachian State. Evans also was an impacful kick returner with over 1,400 return yards in three years. He found the end zone 34 times in college with 23 of those scores coming in his final season.
Coming out of college, the consensus was that Evans could develop into a solid RB2 in the NFL. He was known for his ability to be a patient one-cut back who can set up defenders to miss in space.
There’s no doubt that Evans possesses all of the athletic tools to succeed in the NFL, and more specifically in the Bears’ outside-zone scheme. However, his poor size and unfortunate history with injuries since entering the league must raise some serious doubts about his chances.
It’s hard to come back from injuries that stack on top of one another. They have made it impossible for Evans to get his footing. Coming from a small school to the NFL is a challenge for most, and injuries make it severely more difficult.
Chicago did also draft running back Trestan Ebner this year. It will be interesting to see how Ebner and Evans compare to one another once training camp begins.
Evans will need to show the coaches that he’s the better option. He should have a chip on his shoulder as he’s been unable to fully prove himself since entering the league.
Even if he makes the final roster, Evans’ role will be small. He does give the Bears speed at the position. His 4.41-40 coming out of school was the fastest of any back on the roster.
The Bears could choose to release Evans in favor of the rookie Ebner. However, if they feel confident that Ebner will clear waivers in order to place him on the practice squad, there may be no risk of keeping Evans to start the season.
If there isn’t much risk, they may as well see what they have in the running back they claimed off waivers. Evans can also be an option for the kick return spot. Yes, the Bears have other options like Velus Jones Jr. and Khalil Herbert, but they still could give Evans some looks here.
Giving Ebner, who the Bears drafted in the sixth round, a redshirt season would not be a terrible idea with quality talent already at the position.
Hopefully, Evans can remain healthy in order to stick around and remind people why he was drafted early a couple of years ago.
Prediction: Makes the final roster as RB3.
Stats: 25 Rushes, 98 Yards / 5 Catches, 45 Yards / 5 Kick Returns, 115 Yards.