CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Three days after saying "I've got to be smart" about keeping his emotions in check, Bucs WR Mike Evans was ejected in the final two minutes of Sunday's 38-10 loss to the Panthers after drawing two 15-yard penalties for "disrespectfully addressing the official" in arguing for a pass interference call.
"I lost my cool," Evans said. "I thought it was an obvious pass interference call. I didn't get it, and I thought it was because we were getting blown out. That's all I told the ref. He told me 'Don't bring my … over there' to talk to him. I was like, 'That's some BS.'
"I don't think I did enough to get ejected, but I'll take the punishment. … I've seen people do way worse. It is what it is. I guess the way I play, passionate throughout the year, they want to get me."
Evans, who had four catches for 99 yards, had to be separated by teammates from Panthers CB Josh Norman at the end of the first half. Norman, asked what happened with Evans, said it was a "peasant throwing rocks at a giant," Panthers news website blackandbluereview.com reported.
Evans' argument with the officials came after an incompletion in the end zone with 1:55 to play. His penalties moved the Bucs from the Panthers' 11-yard line to the 41, where they faced third and 36. The drive ended after 13 yards on a fourth-and-32 play.
Asked about Evans' ejection, coach Lovie Smith said, "He said some things to the officials he shouldn't. He got thrown out of the game."
MAY RETIRE: Veteran G Logan Mankins said he might have played his final NFL game and was considering retiring at age 33 after 11 seasons.
"I am at the point in my career where I'm going to take a little time and evaluate what I want to do with my family, with myself and my career and see where it goes," Mankins said.
"A wise guy always used to tell some of the teams I was on to never make a rushed decision after the season. Take a little time to think about it.
Mankins this season missed only one game with an injury, starting 15 at left guard for an offensive line that helped RB Doug Martin rush for 1,402 yards and earn a Pro Bowl berth. Mankins, who played in six Pro Bowls while with the Patriots, is an alternate this year.
Mankins said he has confidence that the Bucs will be a strong team next season with or without his presence and leadership. He's due to make $7 million next season in the last year of his contract.
"There are a lot of guys in this room with promising careers," Mankins said. "A few more pieces and this could be a pretty good team."
INJURIES: The Bucs lost FB Jorvorskie Lane to a lower-leg injury on the first offensive play of the game. He was carted off. … LB Danny Lansanah left the game with a hamstring injury. He was replaced by rookie Josh Keyes, who had four tackles, including one for a loss.
THIS AND THAT: Linebackers Bruce Carter and Lavonte David shared the team lead with 12 tackles. S Keith Tandy had a career-high 11. … The Bucs had four sacks, including one each from Carter and David. … Rookie WR Evan Spencer, the son of Bucs running backs coach Tim Spencer, made his NFL debut, recording a tackle on special teams.
Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.