The Tampa Bay Buccaneers suspension of wide receiver Mike Evans without one-game pay was upheld by appeals officer James Thrash, the NFL announced Wednesday.
Evans will miss Sunday’s Buccaneers home game against the Green Bay Packers.
Evans’ one-game ban will cost him $62,222. His base salary is $1.12 million after restructuring his contract during the offseason.
The wide receiver was suspended by the New Orleans Saints Monday for his role in the altercation with cornerback Marshon Lattimore. He appealed the suspension and the hearing before Thrash, who is jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association, was held on Tuesday.
“We are disappointed that the league has maintained a suspension despite multiple arguments from players who have committed more egregious violations including: hitting, kicking and choking players and not being suspended,” Evans officials said in a statement. “Also, Evans has already been kicked out, which is punishment enough, but the league has decided to discipline him even more. It’s unfortunate, but we will respect the league’s decision.”
This wasn’t Evans’ first suspension for a scuffle with Lattimore. In 2017, Evans was suspended for a game for running onto the field and poking Lattimore in the back.
In a letter to Evans notifying him of his suspension on Monday, NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote: “After a game was over, you walked to your sidelines. Realizing your teammates were engaged in a confrontation with the Saints players, you ran to that area of the field and violently threw your body into an unsuspecting opponent who was part of that confrontation, punching him. You knocked your opponent to the ground and a scuffle ensued involving players from both teams. Your aggressive behavior could have caused serious injury to your opponent and clearly does not reflect the high sporting standards expected of a professional.”
On Sunday, Evans said he believes Lattimore punched running back Leonard Fournette in the face and poked quarterback Tom Brady. He said he wasn’t concerned about a suspension because he felt 2017 was a blatant breach of the rules and he hadn’t been suspended at the time. But the NFL accounts for repeat offenders.
In 2020, Lattimore was fined $10,500 for unnecessary rudeness for kicking Evans in the back, which prompted Evans to rip off his helmet.
Evans’ suspension further exhausts a receiving corps already struggling with multiple injuries. The Buccaneers played the Saints without Chris Godwin and Julio Jones on Sunday. The Buccaneers added veteran wide receiver Cole Beasley to their practice squad on Wednesday to add another pass catcher.
Evans is allowed to return to the Buccaneers on Monday.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine contributed to this report.
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/34636516/tampa-bay-buccaneers-wr-mike-evans-vs-green-bay-packers-appeal-one-game-suspension-denied Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans out vs. Green Bay Packers in Week 3 after appeal of one-game suspension denied