Brady’s heated exchange with New Orleans Saints defensive back Marshon Lattimore after a questionable call on an incomplete pass led to a bench-clearing brawl on Sunday, September 18. Evans jumped in to defend Brady and shoved Lattimore to the ground, which led to the one-game suspension.
“Obviously, if I didn’t run down there to argue with the call … if things weren’t said back and forth between both teams, it could’ve been avoided,” Brady told Jim Gray on the “Let’s Go!” podcast on Monday, September 19.
“There’s a lot of things that go into it and there’s a lot of things at fault, so I don’t think Mike should be the one to be blamed and singled out. Unfortunately he has been, and that’s just the reality of life in the NFL.”
The NFL’s memo regarding Evans’ suspension states that he “struck an unsuspecting opponent” and therefore violated league sportsmanship rules. Brady also expressed his disagreement with the NFL’s decision.
“I don’t think it deserved any type of suspension; I think that’s ridiculous. Hopefully we can move past it and get to a better place,” Brady told Gray.
“I think just sometimes the emotions get the best of us, and I love Mike. And the fact that Mike would come out there to defend me means everything in the world to me as a teammate and a friend,” Brady added.
“Mike knows how I feel about him,” Brady concluded. “So in the end, emotions are a part of sports. Sometimes they boil over, and they obviously did [Sunday], and it’s an unfortunate circumstance.”
Evans appealed the NFL’s decision on Tuesday, September 20. The NFL won’t announce its decision until late in the day according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
Todd Bowles: ‘I Can Only Worry About My Team’
Lattimore didn’t receive a suspension as Evans did though both players got ejected from the game.
“He was, but I can only worry about my team,” Bucs head coach Todd Bowles told reporters on Tuesday. “I can only control what happens on this team and not worry about everybody else.”
Bowles also took his stance on the brawl and Evans’ suspension.
“We don’t want any fighting in our game because if we lose a good player, it doesn’t help our team,” Bowles told reporters. “We don’t want that, we don’t condone it, and we’ve got to move forward and try to find a way to win without him. But that should be a lesson to all of our other players.”
“It’s always a fine line. This is a controlled-aggression game. It’s a controlled-aggression game and you try to protect your teammates, but you’ve got to do it the right way,” Bowles added.
Bucs Could Lean on Running Game Without Evans
The Bucs might face the perfect opponent to play against without Evans on September 25.