Mike Evans has been suspended one game for his role in a fight in Sunday’s Buccaneers-Saints game in New Orleans.
The NFL announced the one-game ban for the Buccaneers receiver on Monday, suspending him without pay “for violations of unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules” in the Bucs’ 20-10 win over the Saints.
NFL Network Insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported that the other players involved in the incident will be evaluated for fines. Pelissero added Evans will appeal the suspension.
After an incompletion on third down early in the fourth quarter of the Week 2 game, Evans was headed toward the sideline when he turned back to see teammates Tom Brady and Leonard Fournette engaged in an altercation with the Saints’ Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Maye. Fournette and Lattimore traded shoves just before Evans came sprinting in with a forceful shove that sent an unsuspecting Lattimore to the turf, sparking a brawl.
“You knocked your opponent to the ground and a melee ensued involving players from both teams,” Jon Runyan, NFL vice president of football operations, wrote in a letter to Evans regarding his suspension. “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.”
Both Evans and Lattimore were ejected from Sunday’s game. Following the fight, Tampa Bay built a 20-3 lead, hanging on for the 10-point win.
“We don’t want any fighting in our game because we lose a good player. It doesn’t help our team,” Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles said Monday, per The Athletic. “We don’t condone that, we don’t teach that, we don’t want that in our game.”
Evans will be eligible to return to the Buccaneers’ active roster on Sept. 26.
The Bucs receiver was previously suspended one game in 2017 for a similar incident involving Lattimore and the Saints.