Oct 23, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) is hit as he makes a catch by Carolina Panthers cornerback Keith Taylor Jr. (28) during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

NFL: Officials were not seeking Mike Evans’ autograph

NFL officials Jeff Lamberth and Tripp Sutter were not seeking the autograph of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans when they crossed paths in the postgame tunnel Sunday.

The NFL said Tuesday following an investigation into the matter that there was no violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement prohibiting referees and game officials from “asking players, coaches or any other team personnel for autographs or memorabilia.”

Video of both game officials stopping and handing a small piece of white paper to Evans minutes after the Buccaneers’ loss to the Carolina Panthers went viral on social media.

NFL investigators began talking to the Buccaneers and the officiating crew Monday.

“After speaking with the individuals involved, we have confirmed that the postgame interaction between Jeff Lambert, Tripp Sutter and Mike Evans did not involve a request by the game officials for an autograph,” the NFL said. “Both Lamberth and Sutter have been reminded of the importance of avoiding even the appearance of impropriety when interacting with players, coaches and club staff on gameday– including during the pregame and postgame time periods.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) starts his route against the Carolina Panthers during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: NFL investigating autograph-seeking refs

The NFL is looking into a video that surfaced on social media that purports to show two game officials seeking an autograph from Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Game officials are barred from asking for autographs or memorabilia from players, coaches or staffers.

A video captured by 1340 AM Fox Sports after Sunday’s game between the Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers appears to show side judge Jeff Lamberth and line judge Tripp Sutter calling out to Evans, with each getting an autograph.

That’s a no-no in the NFL-NFL Referees Association collective bargaining agreement.

Game officials “shall not … ask players, coaches or any other team personnel for autographs or memorabilia,” per the CBA.

Lamberth is in his 20th season as an official, having sat out the 2011 campaign. Sutter is in his fourth season.

–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

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 wide receiver Mike Evans (13) is shoved out of bounds by New Orleans Saints safety Justin Evans (30) and safety Marcus Maye (6) during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs’ Mike Evans, Saints’ Marshon Lattimore ejected in fight

A fight emerged between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and host New Orleans Saints early in the fourth quarter Sunday afternoon.

After a third-down pass incompletion, Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore began to jaw at Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, with running back Leonard Fournette pushing Lattimore away and Lattimore pushing back. Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans joined the fray, shoved and leveled Lattimore, and engaged with other Saints before the dust settled.

Evans and Lattimore were ejected with 12:49 left in the game.

Evans led Tampa Bay with three receptions for 61 yards before his disqualification. Lattimore recorded two tackles and one pass defensed.

At the time of the ejection, the Saints and Buccaneers were tied at 3-3.

— Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA;  Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) makes a leaping touchdown catch over Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs (7) during the third quarter at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs WR Mike Evans (calf) misses practice

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans did not practice on Thursday due to a calf injury.

Evans was listed as limited in practice on Wednesday, three days after recording five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in Tampa Bay’s 19-3 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

The Buccaneers (1-0) are nursing several injuries at the position, with Chris Godwin (hamstring) and Julio Jones (knee) remaining out of practice on Thursday. Fellow wideouts Russell Gage (hamstring) and Breshad Perriman (knee) were listed as limited on Thursday.

Star quarterback Tom Brady returned to practice after taking a rest day on Wednesday.

Left tackle Donovan Smith (elbow) missed practice on Thursday, while running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring), right tackle Tristan Wirfs (abdomen) and cornerback Zyon McCollum (hamstring) were listed as limited.

–Field Level Media

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

Bucs WRs Mike Evans, Russell Gage to sit out practice this week

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receivers Mike Evans and Russell Gage will not practice with the team during its joint session this week with the Tennessee Titans, coach Todd Bowles said Tuesday.

Evans exited practice earlier this month with a hamstring injury, while Gage has been sidelined for the past week with his own hamstring ailment. Both players sat out the Buccaneers’ 26-24 preseason loss to the Miami Dolphins on Saturday.

The Bucs are bringing Chris Godwin along slowly as he returns from surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee. Offseason addition Julio Jones will join Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, Cyril Grayson Jr. and Jaelon Darden in being featured in practice in the absence of Evans and Gage. Veteran Breshad Perriman also has a hamstring injury and missed practice Monday.

Also, Tampa Bay released defensive back Ross Cockrell along with five other players to trim its roster to the NFL-mandated limit of 85.

Cockrell was joined by wide receiver Kameron Brown, offensive lineman Curtis Blackwell and tight end Ben Beise.

Offensive lineman Jonathan Hubbard and linebacker JoJo Ozougwu were waived/injured, which means they automatically revert to the Buccaneers’ injured reserve list if they are not claimed off waivers by another NFL team.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) catches the ball for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers activate WR Mike Evans from COVID protocol

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers activated receiver Mike Evans from the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday, potentially clearing the way for him to play Sunday against the New York Jets.

He is still recovering from a hamstring strain he sustained in Week 15, and the team did not say whether he’d be ready for action when the Buccaneers (11-4) visit the Jets (4-11).

Evans, 28, missed the Week 16 win against the Carolina Panthers because of the injury, then entered the health and safety protocol on Monday.

The Buccaneers also placed punter Bradley Pinion on the COVID list Friday, where he joins three others: wide receiver Jaelon Darden and cornerbacks Jamel Dean and Sean Murphy-Bunting.

Evans is the Buccaneers’ second-leading receiver behind Chris Godwin, who is on injured reserve and out for the season. Evans has 899 yards and a team-leading 11 touchdowns. Those 11 scoring catches rank second in the NFL to the 14 by the Los Angeles Rams’ Cooper Kupp.

Already the first player in NFL history to begin his career with seven straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons, Evans is just 101 yards shy of making it eight in a row.

Pinion, 27, started the first 14 games of the season but was sidelined in Week 16 because of a right hip issue. He has a gross average of 42.4 yards and a net average of 38.5 yards on 53 punts this year — with 23 of them downed inside the 20 and two touchbacks.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) scores a touchdown  against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs WR Mike Evans lands on COVID list

Mike Evans was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers along with wide receivers coach Kevin Garver.

Tampa Bay was thin at the position last week with Chris Godwin placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL and Evans sidelined by a hamstring injury.

That left the Buccaneers with Antonio Brown, who gained 101 yards in his return from a suspension related to falsifying COVID vaccination information, as the lead receiver for Tom Brady.

Evans, 28, leads the Buccaneers with 11 receiving touchdowns. The three-time Pro Bowl selection has 64 catches for 899 yards in 14 games.

Evans could return to the lineup for the Bucs this week, but that status of his hamstring injury might also be a factor.

The Buccaneers wrapped up the NFC South by beating the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

Dec 12, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) catches the ball for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bucs WR Mike Evans, S Antoine Winfield Jr. out vs. Panthers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. will miss Sunday’s game against the host Carolina Panthers, coach Bruce Arians announced Friday.

Evans has missed practice all week after sustaining a hamstring injury in last Sunday’s 9-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The Bucs also lost fellow wideout Chris Godwin (torn ACL) and running back Leonard Fournette (hamstring) to injuries in that game.

Evans, 28, leads the Buccaneers with 11 receiving touchdowns. The three-time Pro Bowl selection has 64 catches for 899 yards in 14 games.

A returning Antonio Brown as well as Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson are expected to serve as the top wideouts for the Buccaneers (10-4), who can clinch the NFC South title with a win over the Panthers (5-9) on Sunday.

Brown completed a three-game suspension after an NFL investigation determined he produced a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.

Arians said he wasn’t too worried about quarterback Tom Brady adjusting to a changing set of receivers.

“He looked fine. Tom is Tom. He’s going to find the guys and get the right guys,” Arians said. “The guys worked hard this week, so he has a lot of confidence in all of them.”

Winfield, 23, will miss his second straight game with a foot injury. He has 72 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one sack in 11 games this season.

–Field Level Media