Report: Bucs’ Mike Evans Intends To Appeal One Game Suspension Issued After Saints-Bucs Skirmish
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans intends to appeal the one-game suspension issued by the National Football League as a result of the skirmish that took place in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. Rapoport also says that no further suspensions will be coming out against other players or coaches involved, and that fines will be issued, per standard procedure.
The league’s collective bargaining agreement gives the wide receiver the right to appeal the decision. Evans’ appeal will either be brought before Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, both of whom were jointly appointed by the NFL & NFLPA to rule on appeals regarding on-field discipline of players. NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Evans, explaining the reason why the league reached a quick decision to suspend the receiver.
“After a play had ended, you were walking toward your sidelines. When you noticed your teammates engaged in a confrontation with Saints players, you ran toward that area on the field and violently threw your body into and struck an unsuspecting opponent who was part of that confrontation. You knocked your opponent to the ground and a melee ensued involving players from both teams. Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury to your opponent and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”
According to rule 13, section 2, article 8 (g), NFL players are prohibited from “unnecessarily running, diving into, cutting, or throwing the body against or on a player who is out of the play or should not have reasonably anticipated such contact by an opponent, before or after the ball is dead.”
Sunday’s game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was another one of many heated games in recent years between these two franchises.
The Bucs ultimately came out victorious over the Saints, outscoring their division rival 20-10 with four takeaways on the day. However, tempers flared during the fourth quarter which involved Evans and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Things quickly broke down after a 3rd-down stop by the Saints defense as Tom Brady and former Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, who was on the Bucs sidelines could be seen arguing with officials. Brady was reportedly arguing that Lattimore committed defensive pass interference. Words were exchanged between Brady and Lattimore as the cornerback did a hand gesture to which the quarterback turned around and shouted back.
Bucs running back Leonard Fournette stepped in and shoved Lattimore, who retaliated with a shove of his own. Evans came in shortly after, sprinting towards Lattimore and shoving him to the ground. A skirmish quickly broke out between the teams.
Evans spoke to media about the skirmish, claiming that the shove to Lattimore was him coming to the defense of his teammates.
“It gets spicy when you come to New Orleans,” Evans said. “All I see is Lattimore punching Lee [Fournette] in the face or something like that and then pushed Tom,” Evans continued. “That’s all I saw. I just pushed him.”
This is not the first time Evans has gotten into it with Lattimore. The first altercation happened in 2017, during Lattimore’s rookie season. Lattimore was shoved in the back of his helmet by quarterback Jameis Winston, who was a member of the Bucs at the time. Evans came flying in after Lattimore retaliated, shoving the cornerback down from behind then proceeded to land on him as he prepared to throw a punch. A Saints player jumped in to break them up before fists started flying.
The second altercation was in 2020, during Brady’s season debut as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Evans and Lattimore got into a shoving match which led to Evans knocking Lattimore’s helmet off. After the third altercation on Sunday, Evans could be seen shoving away a camera as he was being escorted back to the locker room. Lattimore was fined $10,500 as a result.
ESPN has more HERE.