Sep 25, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA;  Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) shuffles a pass to running back AJ Dillon (28) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Packers avoid late-game comeback to edge Bucs

Aaron Rodgers won what might be his final matchup with Tom Brady, throwing for 255 yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns Sunday as the Green Bay Packers handed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 14-12 loss in Tampa, Fla.

Rodgers completed 27 of 35 pass attempts with an interception as Green Bay (2-1) won its second straight game after opening with a loss at Minnesota. The Packers’ defense made Rodgers’ scoring strikes stand up.

Green Bay shut down a short-handed opponent playing without three of its top receivers. Mike Evans was suspended for a game by the NFL after being ejected from last week’s 20-10 win in New Orleans, while Chris Godwin and Julio Jones were out with injuries.

Brady connected on 31 of 42 throws for 271 yards and gave Tampa Bay (2-1) a chance to force overtime when he led an 89-yard touchdown drive from the Buccaneers 11 in the game’s last three minutes. Russell Gage caught a 1-yard score with 14 seconds left.

However, a delay of game call pushed the Buccaneers back to the 7 for the two-point conversion. Brady rolled right and threw for Gage, but the pass was knocked away. The Packers’ Allen Lazard recovered an onside kick to seal the outcome.

Ryan Succop gave the Buccaneers a 3-0 lead with a 45-yard field goal at the 9:05 mark of the first quarter, but Green Bay answered with a drive of just over six minutes. Rodgers hit Romeo Doubs for a 5-yard touchdown with 3:01 left, the highlight of an eight-catch, 73-yard day for Doubs.

The Packers upped the margin to 14-3 when Rodgers capped a march of nearly seven minutes with a 6-yard scoring strike to Lazard.

Tampa Bay got three points back off Rodgers’ lone mistake, a throw over the middle that Logan Ryan intercepted at the Green Bay 47. Succop converted his second 45-yard field goal of the day at the 6:22 mark of the third quarter.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore (23) and safety Marcus Maye (6) get into a penalty with Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) and they are ejected after the play during the second half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NFL levies fines for Saints-Buccaneers skirmish

The NFL fined Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette and New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore $13,367 each for their part in a skirmish between the teams last Sunday, NFL Network reported.

Bucs wideout Mike Evans was suspended Monday by the league for his involvement. He will serve the suspension on Sunday when the Bucs (2-0) host the Green Bay Packers (1-1).

The incident came with 12:49 left in the Buccaneers’ 20-10 victory.

After Lattimore began jawing at Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, Fournette pushed Lattimore away and Lattimore pushed back. Evans joined the fray — shoving and leveling Lattimore — and engaged with other Saints before the dust settled.

Evans and Lattimore were ejected.

Brady was not fined, NFL Network reported Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) hands the ball off to running back Leonard Fournette (7) against the New Orleans Saints during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs QB Tom Brady ‘full-practice’ amid reports of finger injury

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have quarterback Tom Brady under center against the visiting Green Bay Packers, but the availability of two other important offensive players might not be known until Sunday.

Brady, 45, is expected to regularly take Wednesdays off from practice. However, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Brady was “repeatedly shaking the ring finger of his right hand” during Thursday’s practice. Brady said on his “Let’s Go” podcast released on Monday that he did hurt the finger during last week’s win over New Orleans.

Brady was not listed on the injury report and coach Todd Bowles said on Friday that his quarterback is “ready to go, he’s full-practice. He took every throw.”

Bowles said wide receiver Julio Jones and tackle Donovan Smith could be game-time decisions.

Jones has been dealing with a knee injury while Smith hyperextended his right elbow in the season opener.

Bowles said Smith “tried to practice some” on Thursday and was rested on Friday to see how he feels come game day.

The Bucs definitely will be without wide receiver Mike Evans, who was suspended by the NFL for one game following his altercation against New Orleans last week. Chris Godwin also has not practiced this week due to a hamstring injury.

The team signed veteran Cole Beasley to add depth to the banged-up receiving corps.

“I don’t think it gets impacted too much,” Bowles said when asked how the injuries impact the game plan. “We’ve got guys that have played in this system. Obviously, there are different skill sets for each guy, but the system is the system and we’re going to run it how we run it.”

Bowles did said that running back Leonard Fournette, who has been playing through a minor hamstring injury, has “been fine.”

Fournette has logged 45 of the 53 carries for Bucs running backs through two weeks, with third-round rookie Rachaad White getting the other eight. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who led the team with 109 yards on 29 carries in the preseason, has yet to get a touch on offense during the regular season.

“He got better in every aspect of his ball game and it will be exciting when he gets his chance to play,” Bowles said of Vaughn. “Depending on the game plan and what we do depends on whether he plays more or less that week, but in the meantime he’ll work on special teams and when he gets his shot to go in there I expect to see the same Ke’Shawn I saw in the preseason.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) stares at Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) and reacts to a play during the second half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady skips planned day off, practices with Bucs

Tom Brady apparently doesn’t need a day off.

NFL Network reported Wednesday that Brady joined his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates at practice, saying he felt well and wanted to practice. It was NFL Network that said Sunday that the 45-year-old quarterback would take Wednesdays off throughout the season.

Still, the network stood by its report, saying coach Todd Bowles had confirmed the day off plan and that Brady was expected to sit out upcoming Wednesdays. Part of the reason why Brady practiced this week could have been that he wanted time to work with wide receiver Cole Beasley, the veteran signed to the practice squad earlier this week.

Receiver Mike Evans, suspended one game for actions in last Sunday’s clash with the New Orleans Saints, won’t play this weekend against the Green Bay Packers.

Brady, in his 23rd season, did not practice last Wednesday.

Brady and the Bucs beat the Saints 20-10 last Sunday. He completed 18 of 34 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown.

He needs 78 yards to become the first NFL player to reach 85,000 career passing yards.

–Field Level Media

Jul 27, 2022; Tampa, FL, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) works out during training camp at Advent Health Training Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs WR Mike Evans appeal denied, out vs. Packers

The NFL upheld the one-game suspension for Mike Evans on Wednesday, meaning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver will sit out this weekend’s game against the visiting Green Bay Packers.

Evans’ appeal was heard on Tuesday by James Thrash, the appeals officer jointly appointed by the league and NFL Players Association.

Evans, 29, was suspended for instigating a fracas with New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore this past Sunday.

The incident came with 12:49 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Buccaneers’ 20-10 victory.

After Lattimore began shouting at Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, Bucs running back Leonard Fournette pushed Lattimore away and Lattimore pushed back. Evans joined the fray with a head of steam — shoving and leveling Lattimore — and engaged with other Saints before the dust settled.

Evans and Lattimore were ejected.

“We are disappointed that the league upheld a suspension when there are several arguments of players doing more egregious violations including: punching, kicking and choking players and not being suspended,” Evans’ agent, Deryk Gilmore, said in a statement, per ESPN. “In addition, Evans had already been ejected, which is penalty enough, but the league chose to discipline him even more. This is unfortunate, but we will respect the league’s decision.”

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan said Evans violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8(g) which prohibits “unnecessarily running, diving into, cutting, or throwing the body against or on a player who is out of the play or should not have reasonably anticipated such contact.”

He also violated Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 which prohibits any act that is “contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship.”

“Your aggressive contact could have caused serious injury to your opponent and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional,” Runyan wrote in a letter to Evans.

The Bucs (2-0) host the Packers (1-1) on Sunday.

Evans had three catches for 61 yards before being ejected. The four-time Pro Bowl selection entered 2022 as the only player in NFL history to begin his career with eight straight seasons with 1,000 receiving yards.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive tackle Josh Wells (72) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers OT Josh Wells, RB Giovani Bernard land on IR

Offensive tackle Josh Wells and running back Giovani Bernard were placed on injured reserve in a flurry of roster moves executed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday.

Wells was the fill-in starter at left tackle Sunday at New Orleans, replacing injured Donovan Smith (elbow), but exited with a calf injury. Bernard played five special teams snaps and returned one kickoff, but left the game with an ankle injury. They will be eligible to return after missing at least four games.

Wide receiver Kaylon Geiger and inside linebacker Kenny Young were promoted to the active roster from the practice squad.

The Buccaneers signed Cole Beasley to the practice squad and could opt to promote him after the NFL upheld a one-game suspension for fellow wide receiver Mike Evans on Wednesday.

Geiger is most likely to be used on special teams. The undrafted free agent joined Tampa Bay in May and returned three kickoffs at an average of 22.7 yards per attempt.

Young was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 5 after being released by the Las Vegas Raiders. The former fourth-round pick has played in 59 NFL games with 25 starts for the Rams, Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints tight end Taysom Hill (7) rushes against Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (96) during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bucs DT Akiem Hicks (foot) out for month

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are dealing with yet another injury, this one to veteran defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who could miss one month after sustaining a torn plantar fascia in his left foot, ESPN and the Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday.

A source told ESPN that Hicks was injured in the second quarter of the Buccaneers’ road win against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday while being double-teamed, paving the way for a strip sack by teammate Shaquil Barrett.

In two games this season, Hicks has five tackles without a sack. He owns 40.5 career sacks, 392 tackles and 73 tackles for loss in 140 games (112 starts).

Hicks, 32, signed with Tampa Bay at the beginning of June after 10 NFL seasons with the Saints (2012-15), New England Patriots (2015) and Chicago Bears (2016-21). He earned his lone Pro Bowl selection in the 2018 season.

Logan Hall, the 33rd overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, is expected to see more time while Hicks is sidelined.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore (23) and safety Marcus Maye (6) get into a penalty with Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) and they are ejected after the play during the second half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NFL to review Mike Evans’ actions in brawl

The NFL will review the actions of Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans on Monday for his role in the on-field brawl that erupted between the Bucs and New Orleans Saints, NFL Network reported.

The league will review Sunday’s entire incident. However, given Evans’ previous one-game suspension in 2017 for drilling Saints defensive back Marshon Lattimore, that history matters, per the report.

After a third-down incompletion, Lattimore began to jaw at Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, with running back Leonard Fournette pushing Lattimore away and Lattimore pushing back. Evans joined the fray, shoving and leveling Lattimore, and engaged with other Saints before the dust settled.

Evans and Lattimore were ejected with 12:49 left in the game. The Bucs went on to win, 20-10.

Evans, 29, said after the game that he wasn’t concerned the NFL might suspend him again.

“In 2017, I didn’t even get ejected, and that was really a cheap shot. This wasn’t,” the four-time Pro Bowl selection said. “He punched my teammate in the face, and I just pushed him on the ground.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) hands the ball off to running back Leonard Fournette (7) against the New Orleans Saints during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers use fourth-quarter rally to beat Saints

Tom Brady threw a tie-breaking touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman as the visiting Buccaneers defeated the New Orleans Saints 20-10 on Sunday afternoon.

Brady, who was 0-4 against the Saints in the regular season and 1-0 in the playoffs since joining the Buccaneers two years ago, completed just 18 of 34 for 190 yards, but Mike Edwards’ 67-yard interception return for a touchdown and Ryan Succop’s pair of 47-yard field goals enabled the Buccaneers (2-0) to end a seven-game losing streak against the Saints in the regular season.

Former Buc Jameis Winston, reportedly playing with four broken bones in his back, completed 25 of 40 for 236 yards for the Saints (1-1). Winston threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter.

The score was tied at 3 midway through the fourth quarter when Brady found Perriman for the 28-yard score.

On the ensuing possession Jamel Dean, who had ended New Orleans’ previous possession with an end-zone interception, picked off Winston at the Bucs’ 47 and returned to the Saints’ 29, setting up Succop’s second field goal.

Edwards’ pick-6 increased the lead to 20-3 with 4:11 remaining, and Winston’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Mike Thomas completed the scoring with 3:02 remaining.

Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans and Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore got into a shoving match after a play early in the fourth quarter and both were ejected. Momentum shifted in Tampa Bay’s favor after the incident.

Brady drove the Bucs to Succop’s first field goal midway through the third quarter for Tampa Bay’s first points against the New Orleans defense in 22 possessions. That tied the score at 3.

The Saints drove 65 yards on the ensuing possession, but Mark Ingram, starting in place of injured Alvin Kamara, fumbled and Carl Nassib recovered at the 10 as the score remained tied at the end of the third quarter.

Tampa Bay scored 17 straight points to take control in the fourth, and New Orleans turned the ball over four times in the period.

The Saints drove to Wil Lutz’s 31-yard field goal on the game’s first possession.

— Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) runs the ball against the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Saints RB Alvin Kamara out, Bucs RB Leonard Fournette in

Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette plans to play in Sunday’s game against the Saints, but New Orleans is not planning to have top back Alvin Kamara for the Week 2 matchup.

New Orleans anticipates injured quarterback Jameis Winston (back) and backup running back Mark Ingram (ankle) to be on the field when the Saints host Tampa Bay.

Kamara is dealing with a rib injury and was questionable all week.

Fournette (hamstring), who rushed for 127 yards in Week 1, and wide receiver Mike Evans (calf) are both expected to play, but ESPN and NFL Network reported Bucs left tackle Donovan Smith (elbow) is out.

Pregame workouts are likely to determine whether Bucs wide receiver Julio Jones (knee) is given the green light.

–Field Level Media