Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans served a one-game suspension in 2017 after shoving Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore to the ground and setting off a brawl between the teams. It was rinse and repeat Sunday.
Evans, though, does not expect a suspension this time, though the NFL announced it will review Evans and Lattimore’s conduct for a possible suspension.
“Naw, naw, naw, naw,” Evans said, via video from Jenna Laine of ESPN. “It was terrible in 2017. I didn’t even get ejected, and that was really a cheap shot. This wasn’t. He punched my teammate in the face, and I just pushed him to the ground.”
In 2017, Evans was not ejected. On Sunday, Evans and Lattimore both were ejected.
Evans apologized five years ago. He wasn’t apologizing Sunday.
“All I seen is, I know we were like trying to get a flag called or whatever, and it wasn’t called, and all I seen is like Lattimore he like punched Lenny [Fournette] in the face or something like that and then like pushed Tom [Brady]. That’s all I saw. I just pushed him.”
Evans downplayed his hit on Lattimore and the ensuing melee, saying it gets “spicy when you come to New Orleans.” After the play, Evans told an official, “It’s Tom Brady. What do you want me to do?”
“I was just trying to have my teammate’s back,” Evans said. “All I seen was him punch somebody in the face, and I said, ‘I ain’t going to let that happen.'”
In 2017, Evans felt he was defending his then-quarterback Jameis Winston after Lattimore responded to a tap on the back of his helmet by shoving Winston. Winston now plays for the Saints, but the teams remain rivals and Evans and Lattimore still have no love.