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Packers' Jon Runyan Jr. Denies Conspiracy Theory Around Mike Evans' Suspension

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 22, 2022

Jon Runyan Jr. (Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)

Green Bay Packers guard Jon Runyan Jr. said his father, former NFL offensive lineman Jon Runyan Sr., was "just doing his job" when he gave Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans a one-game suspension.

The elder Runyan serves as the NFL's vice president of policy and rules administration. His decision to suspend Evans for a confrontation with New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore comes as the Packers and Bucs are set to face off in a Week 3 game Sunday.

"He was just doing his job," Runyan Jr. told reporters Wednesday. "He's been doing that job for over a half-decade now. It just so happens that we're playing the Buccaneers this week. Everybody's trying to make it this conspiracy theory, which it's not."

Former NFL wide receiver James Thrash, a jointly appointed appeals officer for the league and the Players Association, upheld Evans' one-game ban.

"My dad's doing his job," Runyan Jr. said. "[It was a] lapse in judgment on the field. Sometimes, that stuff happens. There's a whole conspiracy theory going down, and it's not true. That's just how it goes. You can't be running 15 yards trying to head-hunt somebody when the play's over. It is funny, though, how stuff works out sometimes."

Runyan Sr., who played for the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles and San Diego Chargers during a 14-year on-field career, has served in the rules administration role since 2016.

In 2020, while discussing an incident involving then-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and then-Seattle Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, he shed some light on the process that goes into disciplinary decisions.

Runyan explained there isn't typically much leeway in his decision-making process, and it's usually a clear interpretation of the rules.

"You guys watch how I played, I kind of know where the line is and that's kind of why I have this job. It's right on the line," he said. "It's like proving a legal case. I have to have one of these rules violated blatantly to rise to that level."

Here's the statement from Runyan on the Evans suspension:

NFL345 @NFL345

Mike Evans Suspended One Game: <a href="https://t.co/5skOxbD6gi">https://t.co/5skOxbD6gi</a> <a href="https://t.co/odqoGSI1xY">pic.twitter.com/odqoGSI1xY</a>

Meanwhile, Runyan Jr. is in his third season with the Packers since being selected in the sixth round of the 2020 draft.

He's served as the team's starting left guard since last year, a role he should once again assume Sunday when the Packers visit Raymond James Stadium to face the Bucs.

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