Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans did not escape suspension after Sunday’s fight. The NFL announced that Evans would serve a one game suspension for his involvement in the incident during the New Orleans Saints game.
Jon Runyan, NFL Vice President of Football Operations, said that Evans violated the NFL rule on unsportsmanlike conduct. League rules prohibit behavior like Green’s, which included punching, kicking and using a forearm to attack the opponent. Evans wasn’t part of the scuffle between Marshon Lattimore and quarterback Jameis Winston when the receiver came rushing and blindsided the Saints’ cornerback.
In the letter addressed to Evans, Runyan said that he didn’t act like according to the standards expected for a professional football player. Following the game, Evans told reporters that he shouldn’t have lost it out there in the field but he was only protecting his quarterback. “It’s something I shouldn’t have done. It was very childish. I shouldn’t have done that,” he said, per the report from USA Today. “Unprofessional.”
The NFL has not yet announced the fines that will be slapped against Evans, Lattimore and Winston.
The suspension did not make any sense to some, considering that the league did not impose any sanction on Cincinatti’s A.J. Green for choking, throwing to the ground and punching Jalen Ramsey in another incident on Sunday. The league did not issue an explanation for the seemingly double standard.
Despite Green’s actions, the NFL did not suspend him for the fight with Ramsey. Green apologized to his teammates, fans and coaching staff immediately following the game, and acknowledged that he will accept whatever sanction the league will impose.
The Washington Post said that while the Evans ruling was understandable, the NFL should make clear why Green wasn’t given the same penalty for essentially the same unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary force.