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Bucs' Tom Brady: 'Ridiculous' to Suspend Mike Evans for Marshon Lattimore Fight

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 19, 2022

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Tom Brady appreciates his teammate having his back even if he doesn't agree with the ensuing punishment.

"The fact that Mike [Evans] would come out to defend me means everything in the world to me as a teammate," he said on his Let's Go! podcast with Jim Gray (h/t Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times) when discussing the scuffle during Sunday's game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints.

Jenna Laine of ESPN reported Monday that Evans was suspended one game for his altercation with Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

"I don't think it deserved any type of suspension; I think that's ridiculous," Brady said. "Hopefully we can move past it and get to a better place."

The brawl overshadowed Tampa Bay's 20-10 victory in the latest chapter of the NFC South rivalry.

It started when Brady and Lattimore appeared to exchange words, and Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette responded by shoving the cornerback. Lattimore shoved him back before Evans came running into the fray to shove the Saints playmaker.

Both Evans and Lattimore were ejected.

Laine shared the letter written to Evans by NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan explaining the punishment:

"After a play had ended, you were walking toward your sidelines. When you noticed your teammates engaged in a confrontation with Saints' players, you ran toward that area on the field and violently threw your body into and struck an unsuspecting opponent who was part of that confrontation. You knocked your opponent to the ground and a melee ensued involving players from both teams. Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury to your opponent and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional."

Evans and Lattimore are far from best friends, as the wide receiver was also suspended in 2017 for shoving the cornerback. Lattimore was fined $10,500 for an altercation between the two during the 2020 campaign.

While Brady appreciated Evans having his back, the suspension is a costly one for Tampa Bay ahead of a potential playoff preview against the Green Bay Packers.

The Buccaneers were already without wide receivers Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) in Sunday's win and will be quite short-handed at the position if they do not return. Evans could also appeal the suspension, which Laine reported he plans to do, so his status is not finalized as of Monday.

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