DATs DAVIS: Mike Evans Faces Potential Suspension As NFL Review On-Field Skirmish Between Saints-Bucs
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 Buccaneers came to New Orleans with a chip on their shoulders, aiming to snap a four-game losing streak against the Saints since quarterback Tom Brady came to the NFC South.
The Bucs ultimately came out victorious over the Saints, outscoring their division rivals 20-10 with four takeaways on the day. However, tempers flared during the fourth quarter, which involved Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore and Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans. Now, Evans stands to face potential suspension according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, after he and Lattimore were both ejected from Sunday’s game.
Head Coach Todd Bowles used their overall win-loss record against the Saints as a motivational tactic leading up to Sunday’s matchup. The Saints entered Sunday with a 39-22 all-time record against the Bucs. It was a defensive clinic by both teams, as the Saints were leading 3-0 going into the fourth quarter.
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.”
Tom Brady’s answer to what he believed sparked the altercation was: “Emotion. It’s an emotional game,” he said.
A fan posted video of the altercation on social media, which shows a viewpoint that contrasts with Evans’ claim. In the video, Evans can be seen in the background looking at the verbal altercation between Lattimore and Brady. Evans comes sprinting in after Fournette shoves Lattimore and the cornerback retaliates.
This is not the first time Evans has gotten into a skirmish with Lattimore. The first altercation between the two 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 the two 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.