Bills WR Evans out for remainder of the year with ankle injury

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo receiver Lee Evans was placed on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday, two days after sustaining a sprained ankle in the Bills' win over Cleveland.

Evans was hurt at the end of Jonathan Stupar's 35-yard reception in the second quarter. Evans was attempting to hold off a defender from catching Stupar from behind when he fell awkwardly while appearing to trip over his teammate's leg.

The 2004 first-round pick endured a disappointing season, finishing with 37 catches for 578 yards and four touchdowns. It's his lowest reception total of his career, seven less than his previous low of 44 catches in 2009.

The Bills also placed tight end Shawn Nelson on the Reserve, Non-Football Injury/Illness list because of migraine headaches.

Evans has played in 109 straight games, with 71 consecutive starts, a streak that will be snapped when the Bills (3-10) play Sunday at the Miami Dolphins (7-6). Only Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne, among receivers, has a longer games-started streak (126).

Evans' role this season had diminished with the emergence of Steve Johnson, who leads the team with 66 receptions for 874 yards and nine touchdowns. Those figures were helped by opposing defenses rotating coverages in Evans' direction.

"We'll see what (defenses) do, but, obviously, they will probably pay more attention to Stevie (Johnson) now, even though defenses have been paying attention to him pretty much since the first couple weeks," quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. "We'll see how they adjust, and we're going to make some adjustments too, in terms of putting some guys in different spots. It will be interesting to see what happens on Sunday."

The Bills' receiving corps now consists of the seventh-round pick Johnson, and undrafted free agents David Nelson, Donald Jones and Naaman Roosevelt.

Evans is the second Buffalo receiver whose season was cut short because of an injury. Roscoe Parrish has been out since breaking his wrist in a Nov. 7 loss to Chicago.

Evans is third on the Bills all-time list with 43 receiving touchdowns. He trails Andre Reed (86) and Eric Moulds (48).

Shawn Nelson missed the past three games after he began to suffer from migraines. He also missed the first four games after he was suspended for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. He made just three catches in five games.

The Bills also signed guard Colin Brown and tackle Erik Pears to the 53-man roster Tuesday and signed receiver Bobby Williams to the team's practice squad. Offensive lineman Marc Dile was released from the practice squad.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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