Safety Josh Evans was preparing to travel to London for the fourth consecutive season when the Redskins released him right before departing. Evans, who was signed in early October for safety depth, returned home to Jacksonville and went back to working out.
Two months later, he is back with the Redskins, signing with the team on Wednesday, after veteran safety Donte Whitner was placed on Injured Reserve. Evans received a call in the morning, took the next flight out of Florida, received a physical and returned to greet the players he can call teammates again.
"This year was a learning experience," said Evans, who spent the previous three years with the Jaguars. "You learn a lot about roster moves and you learn a lot about how a team moves. As a game, you can't really take it personally. It's a business and that comes first. Teams always do what they gotta do is best for the team and I understand that…I guess it was a humbling experience, lesson learned and I'm just glad to be back and taking advantage of the opportunity."
Evans played in two games in his brief stay in Washington, collecting one tackle against the Eagles, and will once again provide safety depth to a unit that now features Duke Ihenacho, Will Blackmon and Deshazor Everett.
He's unsure if he will be active for Sunday's game – the Redskins opted for just three safeties in Philadelphia a few weeks ago when Blackmon was out – but said the playbook has simplified since he last had the challenge of learning it.
"I got a chance to get out there and get a few reps today," Evans said Thursday. "You know, taking it day by day, but I would love to get back out there Sunday and help compete with these guys."
"We feel good about the three that we have and then obviously if Josh [Evans] has to play in a pinch or if [Bashaud] Breeland has to play back there, I think we'll get by," head coach Jay Gruden said.
Evans kept up with teammates in the two months that he spent back home and is very appreciative of the opportunity to compete with a familiar group, and potentially do so in the playoffs.
"We always kept in contact, you know every now and then we'd text around or whatever. They'd call and check and see what teams I worked out for, little stuff like that," Evans said. "But it's been cool, nothing but respect here."