The NFL upheld the one-game suspension for Mike Evans on Wednesday, meaning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver will sit out this weekend’s game against the visiting Green Bay Packers.
Evans’ appeal was heard on Tuesday by James Thrash, the appeals officer jointly appointed by the league and NFL Players Association.
Evans, 29, was suspended for instigating a fracas with New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore this past Sunday.
The incident came with 12:49 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Buccaneers’ 20-10 victory.
After Lattimore began shouting at Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, Bucs running back Leonard Fournette pushed Lattimore away and Lattimore pushed back. Evans joined the fray with a head of steam — shoving and leveling Lattimore — and engaged with other Saints before the dust settled.
Evans and Lattimore were ejected.
“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,” Evans’ agent, Deryk Gilmore, said in a statement, per ESPN. “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.”
NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan said Evans violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8(g) which prohibits “unnecessarily running, diving into, cutting, or throwing the body against or on a player who is out of the play or should not have reasonably anticipated such contact.”
He also violated Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 which prohibits any act that is “contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship.”
“Your aggressive contact 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 a letter to Evans.
The Bucs (2-0) host the Packers (1-1) on Sunday.
Evans had three catches for 61 yards before being ejected. The four-time Pro Bowl selection entered 2022 as the only player in NFL history to begin his career with eight straight seasons with 1,000 receiving yards.
–Field Level Media