Mike Evans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been suspended without pay for one game for violations of unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness rules in Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations JON RUNYAN issued the suspension for a violation of Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 – which prohibits unsportsmanlike conduct, including "any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship," such as (a) "throwing a punch, or a forearm, or kicking at an opponent, even though no contact is made" – as well as Rule 12, Section 2, Article 6 (g) which states that "there shall be no unnecessary roughness. This shall include, but will not be limited to: (g) unnecessarily running, diving into, cutting or throwing the body against or on a player who (1) is out of the play or (2) should not have reasonably anticipated such contact by an opponent, before or after the ball is dead;"
In his letter to Evans, Runyan wrote:
"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."
Evans will be eligible to return to the Buccaneers' active roster on Monday, November 13 following the team's November 12 game against the New York Jets.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by either DERRICK BROOKS or JAMES THRASH, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.