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Buccaneers' Mike Evans Has 1-Game Suspension for Saints Brawl Upheld

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 21, 2022

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without their No. 1 wide receiver for one of the most anticipated games of the early 2022 season.

Mike Evans' one-game suspension was upheld upon appeal Wednesday, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. That means he will miss Sunday's potential NFC playoff preview against the Green Bay Packers.

Evans was suspended for his role in the scuffle during the Week 2 game between the Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints, and Schefter reported his appeal was heard Tuesday by appeals officer James Thrash, who was jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA.

While Evans and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore were each ejected in the aftermath of the brawl, the Tampa Bay wide receiver was the only one suspended by the NFL.

The incident started when Lattimore appeared to exchange words with Tom Brady following an incompletion. Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette then prompted a shoving match with the cornerback, and Evans came running from near the sideline to shove Lattimore to the ground.

"I don't think it deserved any type of suspension," Brady said of Evans on his Let's Go! podcast. "I think that's ridiculous. Hopefully we can move past it, and get to a better place."

It was yet another exchange between Evans and Lattimore, who are not exactly known to be best friends. The wide receiver was suspended in 2017 for shoving the cornerback, while Lattimore was fined in 2020 for another on-field altercation with Evans.

Fortunately for the Bucs, the ejections didn't prevent them from defeating the Saints in a 20-10 victory.

Yet Evans' absence against the Packers may be a bigger deal, as wide receivers Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) did not play against New Orleans because of injuries. If they can't go on top of Evans' suspension, Brady could be hard-pressed to find consistent options downfield in the aerial attack.

The Bucs did add Cole Beasley to their practice squad to provide more depth at wide receiver. It's unclear if he will have enough practice time with the team to get promoted to the active roster before Sunday's game.

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