The NFL took action, moving fast to punish Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans one day after his fight with New Orleans Saints corner Marshon Lattimore. Both players were ejected from Sunday’s game. On Monday, the NFL announced that Evans would be suspended for one game.
Mike Evans suspended for one game
This marked the second time that Evans was disciplined by the league for tangling with Lattimore, having been suspended one game in 2017 for an altercation. This will also cost Evans one game check.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan, a retired Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle, wrote Evans a letter stating:
“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.”
What’s next for Mike Evans?
Evans might appeal, which would be expected. The appeals are heard by James Thrash or Derrick Brooks. It’s considered logical that he will appeal considering the importance of Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers.
Evans and Marshon Lattimore have a history
Evans took down Lattimore, which sparked a brawl. Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady argued with Lattimore. Then, Lattimore got into a shoving match with Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette. That set the stage for Evans knocking down Lattimore.
In 2017, Evans hit Lattimore after the defensive back shoved Jameis Winston, who was playing for the Buccaneers at the time and is now the Saints quarterback.
“In 2017, I didn’t even get ejected and that was really a cheap shot,” Evans said after Sunday’s game. “This wasn’t. He punched my teammate in the face, and I just pushed him to the ground.
“I was just trying to have my teammates’ back. All I seen is him punch somebody in the face, and I’m like, ‘I ain’t gonna let that happen. It gets spicy when you come to New Orleans.'”
Indeed, it is the land of hot sauce. And, this time, hot tempers boiled over.
Saints coach Dennis Allen said that Evans “was the first one to push and shove Lattimore.”
Allen added quite accurately: “I’ve been around this league long enough. Usually, they don’t get the instigator; they usually get the responder. I think what happened after that was a little bit excessive, so we will see how that goes.”