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New Orleans Saints fullback Heath Evans getting back on track

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Slowly but surely, New Orleans Saints fullback Heath Evans is getting back to full speed Evans tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the Saints' 46-34 victory against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 25, missing the rest ...

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Old 06-14-2010, 10:57 PM   #1
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Slowly but surely, New Orleans Saints fullback Heath Evans is getting back to full speed

Evans tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in the Saints' 46-34 victory against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 25, missing the rest of the season. He had season-ending surgery on the knee four days later.

He is no longer afraid of re-injuring his knee when making a cut. It's the other movements that worry him.
"It's now just kind of getting back to the functional movements and getting back to the speed at which I've got to make them, " Evans said. "I don't really doubt the knee anymore. It's proven to be strong over and over again. Now it's just kind of getting back into that rhythm where I can move and function inside any given play."

Evans has participated in all offseason activities, but he wears a red non-contact jersey for about half of each practice.
He spends the beginning of each practice going through a stretching routine while everybody else participates in position drills. Most of his work in practice so far has come in passing drills, and he has been limited in going through running plays with the team.

"First time being injured, you never really know what to expect. Every day is a little different, " Evans said. "My knee's to the point where you can't really hurt it. You've just got to kind of break through all the not so fun stuff, so that's kind of where I'm at."

The offseason limitations are more of a precaution, and Saints Coach Sean Payton said Evans is ahead of schedule.
"He's doing more than we thought we would have at this time, " Payton said at last Saturday's minicamp practice. "He's getting some 7-on-7 work now and individual work, and that's a little bit further along than we expected today."

Evans started five of the first six games of the 2009 season. He rushed for 16 yards on five attempts with one touchdown and caught 10 passes for 70 yards with another pair of touchdowns.
He was signed by the Saints in March 2009 to replace the released Mike Karney.

A nine-year veteran, Evans spent four seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and four with the New England Patriots, with a stop in Miami with the Dolphins for half of the 2005 season. He rushed for 453 yards in his four seasons in New England, and he played in all 16 games in his last three seasons with the Patriots.

Evans said back in March he expected to be full speed about six weeks from then. So far, he's on that track.
"It's good getting back out there with the guys, kind of knocking the dust off a little bit, " Evans said.
Payton said there is no specific timetable for bringing Evans back to full speed aside from getting him ready for training camp.
"I think it's just a progression of going back slowly, " Payton said. "I think with the nature of his surgery, you're really looking at that training camp window."

The Saints have a backup plan set in place if Evans doesn't come back completely healthy. They have brought in veteran fullback Jason McKie from Chicago, and he has spent some time with the first team during OTAs and minicamp.

Evans said he does feel "a step behind" so far in practice.
"It's kind of funny. Half the team says 'Oh, you look great.' Then guys that have had knee injuries before say 'Oh, you're kind of dragging that thing a little bit, '" Evans said. "But we've got a lot of time to get ready for Week 1."
Evans didn't give any specifics as to what he does during practice to rehab the knee, but he said he has do "everything more" to get back to where he was before the injury.

"I'm just glad I'm here and not in Boston anymore because at least it's hot and humid here, so that helps me stay warm, " Evans said.
Even with the possibility of limited practice time come late July, both Evans and Payton expect the veteran fullback to be near full speed during training camp.

"Certainly we'll feel like he'll be ready for training camp, " Payton said. "We just have to monitor how many snaps in training camp, how many two-a-day practices. We'll probably just limit him to one practice a day during that time."

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Old 06-14-2010, 11:05 PM   #2
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Re: New Orleans Saints fullback Heath Evans getting back on track

having Heath back is going to make our superior O..that much better! I cant wait to see him on the field again.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:08 PM   #3
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Re: New Orleans Saints fullback Heath Evans getting back on track

I just hope he can stay healthy. You are right.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:12 PM   #4
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Re: New Orleans Saints fullback Heath Evans getting back on track

he adds an entirely different dimension to our offense. Drew can check down with more confidence , and Heath has to be covered. Our running game should be awesome with him back blocking on runs also...wheeew...repeat!!!
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:35 PM   #5
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Re: New Orleans Saints fullback Heath Evans getting back on track

he made a difference in the offense, we had a lull when he busted that knee. thomas double duty carried us. come back strong heath, we'll keep the light on for ya.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:14 AM   #6
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Re: New Orleans Saints fullback Heath Evans getting back on track

Originally Posted by QBREES9 View Post
I just hope he can stay healthy. You are right.
He talked in the article about it being his first injury. He's 31(I think) and he's been healthy, that's a good sign. I'll be glad to see him back to playing like last year. And I'm looking forward to his reports.
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:21 AM   #7
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Re: New Orleans Saints fullback Heath Evans getting back on track

Originally Posted by Belair57 View Post
he adds an entirely different dimension to our offense. Drew can check down with more confidence , and Heath has to be covered. Our running game should be awesome with him back blocking on runs also...wheeew...repeat!!!
I said last year when we cut Karney that Evans was a vast impovement. It showed in the first few games. He's a weapon cause you now have to cover the FB too.

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