On Monday, November 6, 2017, the NFL suspended Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans for one game without pay. Evans had a cheap shot against New Orleans Saints number one overall pick, Marshon Lattimore. It was obvious throughout the first half Lattimore was making Evans irritated by shutting him down, and Evans would only catch one pass for 13 yards for the entire game.
Lattimore after the game acted like a true competitor in which he stated “I am glad Evans was not tossed so I could guard him longer.” This was evident with the passion Lattimore showed in the 4th Quarter when Lattimore broke up a pass against Evans.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan said in a letter to Evans:
“During the third quarter, after a play had ended, you struck an unsuspecting opponent in the back, knocking him to the ground. Your conduct clearly did not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”
Could not an argument be made the NFL has put a huge emphasis on the protection of the players since CTE has come to the forefront? Now Mike Evans who “struck an unsuspecting opponent in the back” could have hurt Lattimore with his cheap shot and could have done real damage. But is this why the NFL suspended him or for not “clearly not reflecting the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”
Should Evans have more than a one game suspension? This shows the NFL worries more about the image of the league than the real safety of the players.
Are You Serious?