Sept. 19 (UPI) — The NFL suspended wide receiver Mike Evans for one game for his role in a scuffle during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Week 2 win over the New Orleans Saints, the league announced Monday.
Evans and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore each were ejected in the fourth quarter of the Buccaneers’ 20-10 win Sunday in New Orleans.
Evans hauled in three catches for 61 yards before the incident. Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and Lattimore exchanged words, along with other players, at the start of the sequence.
Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette then shoved Lattimore away from Brady. Lattimore responded with a first to Fournette’s helmet.
Evans then jumped into the area and shoved Lattimore to the ground. He then got tangled up with several other players, who piled on the ground. The group was then separated and officials ejected Evans and Lattimore.
NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan said in a news release that Evans was suspended, without pay, for violations of unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules.
“After a play had ended, you were walking toward your sidelines,” Runyan wrote. “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.”
Evans is eligible to return to the Buccaneers’ active roster Sept. 26. He can appeal the suspension. The NFL did not announce any penalty for Lattimore.
The Buccaneers (2-0) will host the Green Bay Packers (1-1) at 4:25 p.m. EDT Sunday at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.