Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans was suspended one game without pay for his role in an altercation with New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore.
The NFL announced the suspension on Monday.
Jon Runyan, the NFL’s vice president of football operations, said in a news release Evans was suspended for violating the league’s rules regarding unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct.
“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,” Runyan wrote in his letter to Evans.
ESPN reported Evans would appeal the suspension.
The incident began after Bucs quarterback Tom Brady threw an incomplete pass to Scotty Miller. Brady was marching down the field to confront a referee when Lattimore appeared to gesture toward the quarterback. Brady went over to confront Lattimore when Leonard Fournette started the pushing.
Evans started to walk off the field when he saw the quarrel happening. He rushed over and pushed Lattimore to the ground.
Multiple flags were thrown and offsetting penalties were given out in addition to Evans and Lattimore being ejected.
The star wide receiver was asked about the incident after the game.
“It gets spicy when you come to New Orleans,” Evans said. “And they’re a good team, physical team. We matched that today.… I know we were like trying to get a flag called or whatever, and then it wasn’t called. All I see is Lattimore punch (Fournette) in the face or something like that and then pushed Tom. That’s all I saw.”
Evans added that he thought Lattimore was “too emotional.”
“Super competitive. Today, he was just too emotional,” he told ESPN. “You don’t throw punches at guys on the field. He threw a punch at Lenny, and I can’t let that happen to my teammates. So, I shoved him… turned into a brawl.”
Evans led the way with three catches for 61 yards. Breshad Perriman had three catches for 45 yards and the go-ahead touchdown catch from Brady.