In a Week 2 victory against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans earned unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties that led to his ejection. As shown in the video below, Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette pushed Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore when he stepped up to Tampa quarterback Tom Brady. After that exchange, Lattimore pushed Fournette back, leading to Evans joining in on the action with a two-hand shove that kicked off an on-field brawl.
Mike Evans and Marshon Lattimore were ejected following a fight between the Bucs and Saints.pic.twitter.com/leD0iRhpaR— (@sportingnews) September 18, 2022
On Monday, the NFL announced that they would be suspending Evans in Week 3, which was expected following his ejection. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Evans will be appealing the suspension, though, it’s uncertain what the case for his appeal will be.
Losing Evans, a four-time Pro Bowler, would be a significant loss for Tampa. Even worse, the team’s number two and three pass-catchers, Chris Godwin and Julio Jones, were unable to play in Week 2 due to injuries. The Buccaneers went from projected 3-point favorites against the Green Bay Packers next Sunday down to 2.5-point favorites in just a matter of hours, passing through a key number in betting.
At the very least, Evans’ suspension puts even more of an emphasis on Tampa’s injury reports this week. With Evans likely out of the picture, the rehab of the Buccaneers’ pass-catchers will decide if Brady is going to throw balls to exclusively backup receivers or not this weekend.