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NFL reviewing Bucs-Saints brawl for possible disciplinary action, including suspension

Bucs receiver Mike Evans and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore were ejected during Sunday’s Tampa Bay win.
Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13), quarterback Tom Brady (12) and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore (23) get into an altercation during the second half of Sunday's game.
Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans (13), quarterback Tom Brady (12) and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore (23) get into an altercation during the second half of Sunday's game. [ JONATHAN BACHMAN | AP ]
Published Sep. 19|Updated Sep. 19

TAMPA — The NFL is reviewing the altercation between receiver Mike Evans and cornerback Marshon Lattimore from Sunday’s game at New Orleans for possible fines and/or suspension.

Evans and Lattimore were both ejected from the game with 12:49 remaining in the third quarter.

In 2017, Evans was suspended for one game after he blindsided Lattimore during a game in New Orleans, and the fact that this is his second offense may be a mitigating factor.

Here’s what happened Sunday: Brady threw a deep pass to Scotty Miller that fell incomplete, but both believed Miller was interfered with by Lattimore.

Brady pleaded his case to the officials and Lattimore flung his arm up dismissively while saying something to the quarterback.

Brady pivoted and headed toward Lattimore. Running back Leonard Fournette pushed Lattimore from the side, and Lattimore responded by shoving Fournette below the facemask, throwing his head back.

That’s when Evans came charging off the sideline and knocked Lattimore to the turf. Evans was grabbed from behind by safety Marcus Maye and then pulled him to the ground. Maye wound up on top of Evans, and the melee ensued.

Evans said after the game that he didn’t expect to be suspended.

“Nah, nah, nah. 2017, I didn’t even get ejected in that (game),” Evans said Sunday. “That was really a cheap shot. This was he punched my teammate in the face and I pushed him on the ground.”

Two Sundays ago in a win at Atlanta, Lattimore drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for shoving Falcons receiver Bryan Edwards to the ground following a play late in the fourth quarter.

Officials break up a brawl between the Saints and Bucs during the second half Sunday.
Officials break up a brawl between the Saints and Bucs during the second half Sunday. [ GERALD HERBERT | AP ]

The Bucs could ill afford to lose Evans this week for the home opener against the Packers. Receivers Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) did not play in New Orleans due to injuries.

According to Pro Football Talk, the league is also planning to address all things related to Sunday’s incident, including whether former Bucs coach Bruce Arians should be allowed to remain on the sideline.

Arians, who is now the senior advisor to general manager Jason Licht, could be seen working the officiating crew during Sunday’s game. That included the officials’ failure to call pass interference on Lattimore on that deep ball to Miller.

Arians had.watched games during the preseason from a sky suite or box above the playing field. But he told the Tampa Bay Times the Saints had no such accommodations at the Superdome Sunday.

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“The Saints didn’t have a box for us,” Arians said in a text. “So we had to be on the sideline. If I’m down there, I can’t help but work the officials.” Arians then added a grinning face emoji with sweat drop that represents nervousness during tense situations.

A review by the league of the incident is expected to be completed before Wednesday.

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