The NFL announced on Monday that Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has been suspended for one game without pay after he was ejected from Sunday’s tension-filled game for playing a role in a massive, benches-clearing brawl. Evans is being suspended for violating the NFL’s unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules.
The brawl, which happened just a few minutes into the fourth quarter with the score 3-3, began when New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore made a dismissive hand motion in Tom Brady’s face at the end of a play. Brady turned around, presumably to run his mouth, which is when Leonard Fournette pushed Lattimore. Evans, who was all the way on the sideline, ran in like a heat-seeking missile and tackled Lattimore, and then everything devolved from there.
Lattimore was also ejected from the game, but his behavior didn’t warrant a suspension or even a fine. He didn’t initiate contact with anyone, and Fournette pushing him is likely what turned the Brady-Lattimore interaction into a full blown brawl.
Head coach Todd Bowles wasn’t thrilled with Evans’ behavior.
Evans will miss the Week 3 game between the Bucs and Green Bay Packers, and will return in time to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 4 on Sunday Night Football.