After reviewing the incident that took place between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the NFL has decided to suspend Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans for one game. It has been reported that Evans plans to appeal the suspension, and will be eligible to play for as long as the appeal is being examined. If the appeal is denied, Evans will have to miss the game directly following the rejection. As a result, his status for this Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers is uncertain.
For several years, the Saints and the Buccaneers have been doing battle in the NFC South, usually with both teams vying for division supremacy. The level of intensity in Week 2’s matchup was as high as ever, and that passion led to a fight between the teams.
Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore had a few things to say to Tampa Bay’s sideline, including former Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians. Lattimore then directed his attention to speaking with Tom Brady, who took exception to whatever the defensive back had to say. Running back Leonard Fournette was in the vicinity of this conversation as well, and began to push Lattimore away from his quarterback.
As the latter was taking place, Evans got a running head start and forcefully shoved Lattimore down to the ground. At that point, many players on both sides jumped into the fray to defend their teammates. This is not the first time Evans has been involved in an incident with Lattimore, as the Tampa Bay wide receiver was also suspended one game in 2017 for an entanglement with the same cornerback.
A Potential Big Loss Of A Big Target
If the 6’5” 231 pound target is forced to miss a game, his absence would be a major loss for a Tampa Bay offense looking to get by. So far this season, Evans has caught eight passes for 132 yards and one touchdown. Since Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski are no longer with the team, and Chris Godwin suffered a hamstring injury upon his return from an ACL tear, Evans is the unquestioned main weapon for the Buccaneers.
Evans has spent his entire nine year NFL career in Tampa Bay. He has played in 123 games, catching 614 passes for 9,433 yards and 76 touchdowns.
Combined with the ambiguous status of Godwin, the Buccaneers have really been trying to piece together a viable receiving corps for Brady behind Evans. Julio Jones was brought in to help provide a veteran boost, but he has dealt with a barrage of injuries of his own in the past couple of years. He was not available against New Orleans due to a knee injury. Russell Gage also came into last week’s contest with a questionable tag. While he was able to suit up, he provided average production, catching five passes for 28 yards.
On Tuesday morning, it was reported that Tampa Bay signed former Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley. In his 10 year NFL career, Beasley has caught 550 passes for 5,709 yards and 34 touchdowns.