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One-game suspension of Bucs WR Mike Evans upheld

NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans' one-game suspension for drilling New Orleans Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore in the back on Sunday has been upheld by appeals officer James Thrash, the league announced Tuesday.

"I want to sincerely apologize for my actions during Sunday's game," Evans said in a statement Tuesday. "I saw my quarterback getting shoved and I let my emotions get the better of me. My response was not appropriate and not a true indication of who I am as a player and a person. I take pride in playing the game the right way and I realize it was unprofessional and hurt my team."

Evans will miss Sunday's game against the New York Jets and will be eligible to return to the Buccaneers' active roster on Nov. 13. With a base salary for 2017 of $690,000, Evans' one-game suspension this week will cost him $40,588.23 in lost wages.

Evans was flagged 15 yards for running across the field and drilling Lattimore in the back, then pouncing on Lattimore when he hit the ground. A Saints player then tackled Evans to get him off Lattimore.

The dustup started when Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston -- who was not playing at the time -- pushed Lattimore in the back of his helmet while appearing to suggest that he go back to his own sideline. Lattimore turned around and shoved Winston in the chest. Then Evans flew in for the tackle.

Before the suspension was announced Monday, Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter called the actions of Evans and Winston "totally unacceptable."

"Totally, totally unacceptable behavior, first by Jameis and then by Mike. Jameis cannot, under any circumstances, come off the sideline when he's not even playing in the game. And trash talking is trash talking, but to go out and tap another player, touch another player, whatever you want to call it at all on the field -- that's inexcusable," Koetter said.

"The Saints player responded and then Mike responded. That's not acceptable either. That's not having your teammates' back. That's just wrong."

Evans leads the Buccaneers in receptions (40), targets (72) and receiving yards (532), and his four touchdown receptions are tied with Cameron Brate for the team lead this season.

Information from ESPN's Jenna Laine contributed to this report.

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