Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is scheduled for an appeal hearing with the NFL on Tuesday night regarding his one-game suspension for instigating a fracas with New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan said that Evans violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8(g) which prohibits “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.”
He also violated Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 which prohibits any act that is “contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship.”
“Your aggressive contact could have caused serious injury to your opponent and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional,” Runyan wrote in a letter to Evans.
Evans, 29, said after the game that he wasn’t concerned about another suspension.
“In 2017, I didn’t even get ejected, and that was really a cheap shot. This wasn’t,” he said. “He punched my teammate in the face, and I just pushed him on the ground.”
The latest incident came with 12:49 left in the Buccaneers’ 20-10 victory.
After Lattimore began shouting at Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, Bucs running back Leonard Fournette pushed Lattimore away and Lattimore pushed back. Evans joined the fray with a head of steam — shoving and leveling Lattimore — and engaged with other Saints before the dust settled.
Evans and Lattimore were ejected.
The Bucs (2-0) host the Green Bay Packers (1-1) in Week 3.
Evans had three catches for 61 yards before being ejected. The four-time Pro Bowl selection entered 2022 as the only player in NFL history to begin his career with eight straight seasons with 1,000 receiving yards.
Bucs coach Todd Bowles said he watched tape of the altercation and that the team doesn’t condone any fighting by its players.
“The fighting alone loses a player for the next game (and) it hurts our team because we lose a very good ballplayer,” Bowles said. “We don’t want that, we don’t condone it, and we’ve got to move forward and try to find a way to win without him.
“But that should be a lesson to all of our other players.”
–Field Level Media