Jameis Winston Apologizes for Instigating Fight Leading to Mike Evans' Ban

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2017

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) watches from the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has apologized for inciting the incident against the New Orleans Saints in Week 9 that led to wide receiver Mike Evans' one-game suspension.

Winston's apology came Wednesday as he was meeting with the media:

"I just want to apologize on behalf of my teammates and Mike Evans for the incident that happened in the Saints game. That's something I can't do in the heat of the moment. My competitive nature [took over]. Obviously I can't come off the field and make any gesture towards an opponent, let alone touch them. I can't do that, so I apologize for that."

The incident occurred during the third quarter of New Orleans' 30-10 win over the Buccaneers. Winston was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury, but poked the back of Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore's helmet.

Lattimore turned around and shoved Winston, at which point Evans flew in and knocked Lattimore to the ground. The officials didn't eject Evans or Winston from the game, but the NFL suspended Evans for Tampa Bay's Week 10 game against the New York Jets. 

Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter told reporters after the loss it was “totally unacceptable behavior” from Winston and Evans during that incident. 

Expectations were high for the Buccaneers coming into 2017 after going 9-7 last season, but things have not come together as expected with a 2-6 record through their first eight games.