Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans has been accused of hitting New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore with a ‘cheap shot’ during a bench-clearing brawl that saw both players ejected on Monday morning (AEDT).
The incident occurred during the fourth quarter of the NFL clash between the Bucs and Saints at the Caesars Superdome, after Tom Brady complained to the officials about a missed pass interference call.
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Lattimore took exception to Brady’s complaint, gesturing aggressively towards him as the pair exchanged words.
Find you a squad that protects you like the Bucs protect Brady pic.twitter.com/eudnT98gM7
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 18, 2022
Tampa Bay running back Leonard Fournette made his way over to confront Lattimore, before Evans ran over from the Bucs’ sideline and blind-sided Lattimore with an aggressive hit.
Saints safety Marcus Maye retaliated by dragging Evans to the ground with him. Flags were thrown as the referees struggled to contain the situation, with players from both benches becoming involved in the fracas.
While officials determined both Lattimore and Evans were equally culpable for escalating the incident, it was Evans who received the most criticism from fans and pundits online for his actions.
Speaking on the incident after the game, Evans told ESPN reporter Jeff Darlington that Lattimore had become ‘too emotional’ during the contest.
“Super competitive. Today, he was just too emotional,” Evans said.
“You don’t throw punches at guys on the field. He threw a punch at Lenny, and I can’t let that happen to my teammates. So I shoved him… turned into a brawl.”
M. Lattimore shouldn’t have been ejected.
BA and Brady definitely escalated the situation.
Evans came in with a cheap shot.
These teams don’t like each other at all!
— Darius Butler (@DariusJButler) September 18, 2022
Wow. Will want to hear the explanation for that one later, it certainly appeared Leonard Fournette did the first shoving in that encounter.
Mike Evans had no case, he ran off the sidelines to deliver a cheap shot. Lattimore got pushed first.
— Doug Mouton (@DMoutonWWL) September 18, 2022
Mike Evans with the cheap shot on Marshon Lattimore.
— John Hendrix (@JohnJHendrix) September 18, 2022
Evans and Lattimore have history in the NFL
Evans and Lattimore have a history of bad blood, with the pair first getting into it in 2017, when Evans once again came rushing onto the field to shove Lattimore when he was not looking.
Evans received a one-game suspension for the act.
In 2020, Lattimore returned serve by pushing Evans in the back during a game, with Evans retaliating by knocking Lattimore’s helmet off. Lattimore was fined $10,500 for unnecessary roughness.
Not the first time Evans knocked down Lattimore...pic.twitter.com/Ob1yLn5M9W
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 18, 2022
Mike Evans & Marcus Lattimore beef is one of the most underrated subplots in the league. They legit hate each other.
— Barry (@BarryOnHere) September 18, 2022
Tensions were high throughout the contest between the fierce divisional rivals.
The Bucs eventually secured a a 20-10 victory, but not before Brady became so frustrated with his team’s play that he smashed his tablet on the sideline.
It is the second time is as many seasons that Brady has broken such a device on the sidelines after losing his temper.
The victory improved Tampa Bay’s record to 2-0 on the season, while the Saints are now 1-1.
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