NFL Makes Huge Decision on Mike Evans Suspension Ahead of Week 3

by Suzanne Halliburton

The NFL denied the Mike Evans appeal and upheld his one-game suspension. The star receiver for the Tampa Bay Bucs will serve a one-game suspension for his part in an on-field brawl.

This also means Bucs quarterback Tom Brady won’t have his best receiver available when Tampa meets Green Bay at Raymond James Stadium. It’s one of the terrific matchups of the early season, a rematch of the 2020 NFC title game. Plus, it’s Brady versus Aaron Rodgers. Oddsmakers made the Bucs’ a three-point favorite. But that was before the NFL upheld the Mike Evans punishment.

Former NFL wide receiver James Thrash heard the appeal. He was jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA. Coincidentally, Thrash also heard the appeal the last time Mike Evans had an altercation with New Orleans Saints DB Marshon Lattimore.

Yes, the two have a history. A reporter for Pro Football Performance tweeted highlights of three of their fights.

Mike Evans Drew a Suspension Last Time He Brawled with Lattimore

Jon Runyan, the NFL VP of football operations, said in a letter to Evans that the receiver “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.”

The most recent Mike Evans-Marshon Lattimore unfolded early in the fourth quarter of Tampa’s road game against New Orleans. Lattimore had words with Brady. And he and Tampa tailback Leonard Fournette shoved each other. Then came Evans, who hit Lattimore from behind. That escalated the fight.

Earlier this week, Brady called any sort of suspension “ridiculous.”

Mike Evans’ agent Deryk Gilmore issued a statement on behalf of his client.

“We are disappointed that the league upheld a suspension when there are several arguments of players doing more egregious violations including: punching, kicking, and choking players and not being suspended,” the statement said. “In addition, Evans had already been ejected, which is penalty enough, but the league chose to discipline him even more. This is unfortunate, but we will respect the league’s decision.”

Mike Evans said after the game that he didn’t think he’d be suspended. That’s when he compared Sunday’s fight to the 2017 brush up he had with Lattimore. He told USA Today: “In 2017, when I really cheap-shotted him, that was real. His back was turned, so I hit him really hard. I shouldn’t have done that. I didn’t get ejected. They let me keep playing and we were down, 30-3.”

Mike Evans was a first-round pick out of Texas A&M. And he also had issues in College Station maintaining his temper.

Evans, 29, has eight receptions for 132 yards and a touchdown over two games this season.