Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans’ one-game suspension has been upheld by appeals officer James Thrash, the league announced Tuesday.
During Sunday’s loss to New Orleans, Evans ran across the field and drilled Saints rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore in the back after a confrontation between Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and Lattimore.
The brawl started when Winston — who was out of the game due to a sore shoulder at the time — pushed Lattimore in the back of his helmet while appearing to suggest that he go back to his own sideline. Lattimore turned around and shoved Winston in the chest. Then Evans flew in for the tackle, pouncing on Lattimore when he hit the ground. A Saints player then tackled Evans to get him off Lattimore.
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“I want to sincerely apologize for my actions during Sunday’s game,” Evans said in a statement Tuesday. “I saw my quarterback getting shoved and I let my emotions get the better of me. My response was not appropriate and not a true indication of who I am as a player and a person. I take pride in playing the game the right way and I realize it was unprofessional and hurt my team.”
Evans will has to sit out Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, which will cost him $40,588.23 in lost wages. He will be eligible to return to the Buccaneers’ active roster on Nov. 13.
Before the suspension was announced Monday, Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter called the actions of Evans and Winston “totally unacceptable.”
“Totally, totally unacceptable behavior, first by Jameis and then by Mike. Jameis cannot, under any circumstances, come off the sideline when he’s not even playing in the game. And trash talking is trash talking, but to go out and tap another player, touch another player, whatever you want to call it at all on the field — that’s inexcusable,” Koetter said.
“The Saints player responded and then Mike responded. That’s not acceptable either. That’s not having your teammates’ back. That’s just wrong.”
Evans leads the Buccaneers in receptions (40), targets (72) and receiving yards (532), and his four touchdown receptions are tied with Cameron Brate for the team lead this season.