TAMPA. Fla. – Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been suspended without pay for one game for violations of unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, according to the NFL.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension for a violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8(g) which prohibits “unnecessarily running, diving into, cutting, or throwing the body against or on a player who is out of the play or should not have reasonably anticipated such contact by an opponent, before or after the ball is dead,” as well as Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 which prohibits any act which is “contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship.”
In a letter to Evans, Runyan wrote: “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.”
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Evans will be eligible to return to the Buccaneers’ active roster on Monday, September 26, following the team’s September 25 game against Green Bay.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Evans may appeal the suspension, according to officials.
According to the NFL, any appeal will be heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the hearing officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.