Posted at 7:22 AM on October 14, 2008
by David Zingler
I was shocked this morning to find out that former Vikings fullback Chuck Evans had died of heart failure at age 40. Evans was one of those guys that only the hardcore fans noticed and appreciated. An 11th round pick out of Clark University in 1992, Evans beat the odds to become a mainstay in the Vikings backfield during the Dennis Green era.
While he rushed for only 4 TDs in his 8-year career, I'll always remember the one he was credited for at Tampa in week 9 of the 1997 season. The Vikings were inside the 5-yard-line when they handed the ball to the hard-nosed fullback who lowered his head and began to burrow his way toward the end-zone. Replays showed that Evans barely got inside the 1-yard-line but because the mass of humanity piled around him obscured the referees' view, he was credited for a touchdown. Since instant-replay wasn't reinstated by the NFL until 1999, the Vikings won the game 10-6.
Evans left the Vikings after the 15-1 1998 season, following Brian Billick to Baltimore as a free agent. He played his final two seasons with the Ravens before retiring after the 2000 season as a Super Bowl Champion.