The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the New Orleans Saints 20-10 on Sunday in a heated matchup that saw both Mike Evans and Marshon Lattimore ejected for their roles in a benches-clearing brawl.
After the game, Evans addressed his ongoing rivalry with Lattimore.
"Super competitive. Today, he was just too emotional," Evans told reporters. "You don't throw punches at guys on the field. He threw a punch at Lenny, and I can't let that happen to my teammates. So I shoved him … turned into a brawl."
Evans added: "We're in New Orleans. It gets spicy sometimes. Got a little heated in the scuffle. I'm glad nobody got hurt and glad our team responded after it."
Entering Sunday's game, the Buccaneers had lost their last seven regular-season games against the divisional-rival Saints, so it was sure to be a heated contest.
After Lattimore tackled Buccaneers wide receiver Scotty Miller on an incomplete pass down the sideline in the fourth quarter, he got into an altercation with Tom Brady and Leonard Fournette.
Fournette and Lattimore began shoving each other, and that's when Evans came in and body-checked the Saints cornerback to the ground. They were both ejected from the game, and it's possible they'll face fines as a result of the incident.
Evans and Lattimore have a lengthy history.
In 2017, Lattimore's rookie season, Evans similarly blindsided the cornerback when Saints quarterback Jameis Winston was still a member of the Buccaneers:
Evans was selected seventh overall in the 2014 NFL draft out of Texas A&M. He has earned four Pro Bowl selections and posted eight straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons to begin his career.
Lattimore, selected 11th overall in the 2017 NFL draft out of Ohio State, is a four-time Pro Bowler and was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2017. He put together one of the best seasons of his career in 2021, posting three interceptions, 19 pass breakups, one fumble recovery and 68 tackles in 16 games.
Evans is under contract with the Bucs through the 2023 season, and Lattimore is signed with the Saints through the 2026 campaign. There's reason to believe the bad blood between these two players won't subside anytime soon.
The Buccaneers and Saints don't meet again until Dec. 5 on Monday Night Football.