NFL Investigating Bruce Arians Over Mike Evans-Marshon Lattimore Brawl: Report

by Chris Haney

The NFL is currently investigating the fight that broke out during the Buccaneers-Saints game on Sunday between Mike Evans and Marshon Lattimore. There’s no love lost between the two rival players, but the league is also looking into retired Bucs head coach Bruce Arians who may have instigated the on-field altercation.

During the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ away game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, tempers flared in an ugly matchup at times. Both teams struggled to score through the first three quarters of the game. Tampa’s poor performance even led iconic quarterback Tom Brady to throw his helmet on the sideline and smash a tablet on the ground out of anger.

The division rival game also saw Bucs receiver Mike Evans and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore get chirpy with one another throughout the matchup. The two have a history of butting heads when they play each other twice each season. And things finally came to a boiling point on Sunday afternoon when Evans steamrolled Lattimore, which started an all-out brawl between multiple players.

Now, the NFL is investigating the incident and the league has already handed out a one-game suspension to Mike Evans. However, the NFL is also reviewing another individual that was supposedly involved with the fight from the sidelines – Bruce Arians.

The Super Bowl-winning head coach with the Bucs just retired in the offseason. But he stayed in Tampa as a senior adviser to the team’s general manager. Arians was seen on the sideline during yesterday’s game chirping at the refs and seemingly encouraging Evans to go after Lattimore. The former coach allegedly instigated the brawl. The league is looking into his involvement and reviewing whether or not he’ll be allowed to walk the sidelines during future games.

Mike Evans Receive 1-Game Suspension, NFL Reviewing Bruce Arians and Others

As mentioned, the league dished out a one-game suspension to Bucs WR Mike Evans for his involvement in Sunday’s on-field fight. NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that Evans will be out one game due to “unnecessary roughness.” Schefter added that it’s the second suspension for Evans after getting in another scuffle with Lattimore in 2017. Additionally, Schefter reported that there are no other suspensions, but fines are expected for others.

Former NFL offensive lineman turned NFL vice president of football operations, Jon Runyan, issued Evans’ suspension. Runyan sent a letter to the wide receiver explaining the league’s decision.

“Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury to your opponent,” Runyan wrote. “And clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”

We’ve yet to hear from the league about Bruce Arians and his involvement. But Evans and Lattimore seem to clash every time the Bucs and Saints play each other, so the NFL wasted no time suspending the receiver.

The pair have a long history of altercations dating back to 2017. At the time, Saints QB Jameis Winston was still Tampa’s quarterback. While near the sideline with his helmet off, Lattimore pushed Winston and Evans came to his QB’s defense by bulldozing the corner.

Next, in Week 1 of the 2020 season, Evans and Lattimore got into a shoving match after making contact at the line of scrimmage. The pair exchanged shots at each other for the second time. But things came to a head once more on Sunday with their third fight.

Evans will be back in time for the rematch between the two teams later this season. All eyes will be on the two elite players as they lineup across from each other when New Orleans visits Tampa Bay in Week 13.