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NFL Suspends Bucs’ Mike Evans For Role in Saints Brawl

Mike Evans

The NFL suspended Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans on Monday for his part in a brawl between Tampa Bay and New Orleans Saints players on Sunday, Bucs coach Todd Bowles told reporters.

“Like I said, the fighting alone, losing a player for the next game, 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 find a way to win without him. But that should be a lesson to all our other players.”

 

Evans and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, along with quarterback Tom Brady, appeared to be at the center of an argument resulting in multiple ejections and, now, further discipline from the league. Evans is planning to appeal the suspension, according to NFL Media.

Bowles’ language on Monday was very similar to what then-Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said in 2017 after Evans was suspended for his involvement in an almost exact scenario with the Saints as that which played out Sunday. Instead of Brady, it was Jameis Winston.

Koetter called Evans’ behavior “totally unacceptable” after the 2017 incident.

 

“Mike Evans is a passionate player and an elite competitor,” Koetter, an analyst for The 33rd Team, said on Monday after Evans’ latest suspension. “He and Lattimore are among the best in the world at what they do and have had multiple battles over the years. In the moment, Mike lost his poise, similar to the incident in 2017. The suspension by the league is justified and will hurt Tampa in next week’s game. I am quite sure Mike knows this and will work to rectify that behavior moving forward.”

In the 2017 contest, Evans and Lattimore came to blows after the wide receiver came to the defense of his quarterback, Winston. He was suspended one game by the league.

Former NFL official Dean Blandino said the officials likely knew about Evans and Lattimore’s history going into the game and were paying extra attention to them.

“Watching the video, I didn’t think Lattimore did anything that raised it to the level of an ejection,” Blandino said. “I really felt like Evans was the instigator.”

Tampa Bay won the game on Sunday, beating the Saints 20-10 in New Orleans. After a win against the Cowboys in Week 1, the Bucs are now 2-0 as they head into a Week 3 matchup with Green Bay. Brady and the Buccaneers’ offense will have to find a way to put points on the board without their No. 1 receiving threat.

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