Bucs-Saints brawl: NFL suspends Mike Evans one game for hit on Marshon Lattimore

Mike Evans’ day ended a bit earlier than expected in Week 2 after the Buccaneers wideout was ejected from Sunday’s win over the Saints due to an on-field scuffle with New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who was also booted from the contest. Now, Evans is slated to miss even more time as the NFL has since come down with a one-game suspension of the Buccaneers star. 

In a release announcing his suspension, the NFL notes that VP of Football Operations Jon Runyan has issued the suspension after Evans violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 (g) which prohibits “unnecessary running, driving into, cutting, or throwing the body against or on a player who is out of play or should not have reasonably anticipated such contract by an opponent, before or after the ball is dead. The league also cited Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 that prohibits any action that runs “contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship.” 

Evans will appeal the suspension, CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson reports.

The incident occurred in the fourth quarter of this NFC South matchup in New Orleans with the game still knotted at three. Tom Brady threw an incomplete pass to Scotty Miller on a third-and-5 situation, and Lattimore seemed to begin jawing at the veteran quarterback. Leonard Fournette and Lattimore began shoving one another and Evans came over the top and ran right into Lattimore, which turned this into a full-on brawl. 

“After a play had ended, you were walking toward your sidelines,” Runyan said in a letter to Evans notifying him of the suspension. “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.”

It’s worth noting that Evans is not a first-time offender in this type of situation. Back in 2017, he received a one-game suspension for a hit he made on Lattimore on the Tampa Bay sideline, a move he’d later characterize as “childish.” This time around, however, Evans told reporters Sunday that he wasn’t expecting a suspension from this incident.

“That was terrible — 2017 I didn’t even get ejected and that was really a cheap shot,” he said. “This wasn’t. He punched my teammate in the face and I just pushed him to the ground.”

If Evans’ appeal falls short, he is slated to miss Tampa Bay’s Week 3 matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Of course, this is a less than ideal turn of events for the Buccaneers. Despite being 2-0 to start the year, they are particularly banged up at the receiver position as Chris Godwin and Julio Jones both missed Week 2 due to injury. If they are unable to go in Week 3, Tom Brady’s offense will be drastically undermanned.

Also, no other player involved in this fight will be suspended, but they could still be subject to a fine.

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