Ravens WR Evans optimistic he can return for Bengals game

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Lee Evans can't say for sure whether he will be back on the field Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens face the Cincinnati Bengals in a showdown for a piece of first place in the AFC North.

The speedy wide receiver does know this much: He's sick of watching games from the sideline.

Obtained in a preseason trade with the Buffalo Bills, Evans was supposed to give the Ravens the deep threat they've been lacking for years. The eight-year pro played in the first two games but has missed the last seven with a left ankle injury.

"It hasn't been an easy process," Evans said. "I've just tried to stay with it, stay consistent and do everything I can to get back on the field. It's something that you can't rush. You just kind of have to let it heal. I'm just learning a little patience here, more than I have."

The 30-year-old has just two catches for 45 yards, both in a loss to Tennessee in Week 2. Evans said he's "optimistic" about returning Sunday, but he and coach John Harbaugh acknowledged his status will likely be a game-time decision.

"That's to be determined," Harbaugh said. "We're always hopeful, but we'll have to see."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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