DATs DAVIS: NFL Denies Mike Evans’ Appeal, Bucs Sign WR Cole Beasley To Practice Squad

Syndication: The Tennessean
George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the National Football League has upheld its imposed one-game suspension on Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans. Evans has officially been ruled out for this Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. Evans was suspended for the hit on Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s week three matchup.

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.”

Evans’ appeal was heard on Tuesday. The league’s collective bargaining agreement gives the wide receiver the right to appeal. The appeal was brought before appeals officer James Thrash, according to Schefter. Thrash was jointly appointed alongside Derrick Brooks by the NFL & NFLPA to rule on appeals regarding on-field discipline of players. NFL Network’s Ian 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.

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.”

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.

The Buccaneers’ depth is being tested early to start the season, particularly on offense as they will not only be without Evans but also potentially Chris Godwin or free agent acquisition Julio Jones, who spent 2021 with the Tennessee Titans. The Bucs signed free agent wide receiver Cole Beasley to its practice squad, who reported to team practice for the first time on Wednesday.

They are also down OL Josh Wells and DT Akiem Hicks, both of whom sustained injuries on Sunday against the Saints. While Wells’ injury isn’t expected to be long-term, Hicks reportedly suffered a tear in his plantar fascia and is expected to be sidelined for at least a month.