Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans has been suspended one game for his role in a post-whistle altercation with New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
Evans plans to appeal the one-game suspension, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports. If upheld, the one-game ban will take Evans out for Tampa Bay’s next game against the Green Bay Packers.
The incident occurred after a third-down incomplete pass with Tom Brady shouting at Lattimore. As Lattimore responded, running back Leonard Fournette stepped in and shoved Lattimore, who shoved Fournette back.
Evans came running in from near the sideline and knocked Lattimore off his feet. Players poured off both sidelines at that point, and Saints wide receiver Jarvis Landry tried to grab Evans, only to have Evans slam him to the turf while both were engulfed by a swarm of players from both teams.
This marked the second time since 2017 that Evans has been thrown out of a game in the dome for flattening Lattimore after the Saints top defensive back had been squaring off with another Buccaneers player.
Lattimore and Evans have carried on a personal rivalry since 2017, when Lattimore was the defensive rookie of the year. During a Saints victory in New Orleans that season, an altercation began along the Tampa Bay sideline when then-Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston pointed in Lattimore’s face and told him to go back to his own bench area.
That’s when Evans blindsided Lattimore with a running start, knocking Lattimore hard to the turf. Only Evans was ejected that time. He also was suspended a subsequent game.
In a letter to Evans to explain the suspension, NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote: “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.”
–With files from the Associated Press.