Former Houston Oilers and Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Josh Evans died after a year-long battle with cancer, the team announced Friday. He was 48.
Evans was a starter for the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. Evans played in 71 games (37 starts) for the Oilers and Titans from 1995-2001. He also played three seasons (23 games) for the New York Jets.
“I am so sad to hear that our Titans family lost Josh Evans today,” Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said in a statement. “His fight against cancer was one of courage and strength and his teammates were by his side encouraging him throughout that fight. We will remember his big personality and even bigger smile. We send our condolences to his family and friends in this difficult time.”
Evans was diagnosed with kidney cancer in January 2020. He had been battling the disease at a cancer treatment center in Fayetteville, Ga.
He finished his career with 21.5 sacks, 14.5 of those with the Titans. Evans missed the 2000 season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Evans started 10 games in the 1999 season and all four games in the postseason, including the Titans’ loss to the then-St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl in Atlanta. He had five tackles in the 23-16 loss. He missed the first four games of that season following his first violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
The team honored Evans as the honorary 12th Titan in their Week 6 game against the Houston Texans on Oct. 18, 2020.