The Tampa Bay Buccaneers already had an uphill climb going into Week 10 without Jameis Winston under center. Now they’ve got the added challenge of losing their best pass-catcher as well.
The NFL announced that Mike Evans will be suspended for the Bucs’ matchup against the New York Jets, citing his tackle of New Orleans defensive back Marshon Lattimore from behind during Tampa Bay’s 30-10 loss to the Saints in Week 9. The visual of Evans’ shove of Lattimore can be seen at about the 13-second mark of the video.
Evans plans to appeal the suspension and could play against the Jets pending his appeal. If he is unable to play, Tampa Bay would enter its matchup with a large amount of pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will be facing his former team.
Evans leads the Buccaneers with 40 catches and four touchdowns this season. Should he be inactive for Sunday’s game, Fitzpatrick would likely spend most of the contest looking toward Cameron Brate, DeSean Jackson and Adam Humphries. The three of them have a combined 1,147 yards and six touchdowns in 2017, with Brate the leader in touchdowns with four.
The suspension provides justification for New Orleans coach Sean Payton, who said after the win over the Buccaneers that Mike Evans should have been ejected from the contest.