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Injury forces Jets DT Evans to retire

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (April 27, 2005) -- Jets defensive tackle Josh Evans has retired, deciding to end his nine-year career because of a back injury.

The 32-year-old Evans played in only one game in 2004 after undergoing season-ending back surgery. He planned to return for 2005 but was slow to recover and decided to call it quits, the team said.

Evans entered the league as a rookie free agent with the Houston Oilers (1995-1996), moved with the team to Tennessee (1997-2001) and joined the Jets as an unrestricted free agent in 2002. He played in 93 career regular-season games, finishing with 301 tackles, 21½ sacks, seven passes defensed, four fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.

But he also had his share of troubles. He was suspended for the entire 2000 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, and again for 10 games last season for a third violation.

His departure leaves the Jets with depth issues at tackle, since starter Jason Ferguson left for Dallas in the offseason as a free agent. The Jets signed Lance Legree from the Giants, and also re-signed James Reed for help. New York drafted defensive tackle Sione Pouha of Utah in the third round.

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