A tight heavyweight matchup between two NFC South rivals resulted in a shove match on Sunday afternoon.
A fight broke out in the 4th quarter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ game against the New Orleans Saints, which began with Bucs receiver Mike Evans hitting Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore, sending the latter down.
The pair was ejected for their role in the fight, which saw both benches fall to the field for a time.
It took officials and coaches a few minutes to restore order, but the game opened up from there. With the game tied 3-3 at the time of the fight, the offensive players stepped on the gas and ended with a final score of 20-10 in Tampa Bay’s favour.
After Tampa Bay QB Tom Brady threw Scotty Miller a deep pass on the third down that was incomplete, teams headed for the sidelines.
Brady was seen complaining to an officer as Marshon Lattimore walked past the Buccaneers’ bench. Lattimore has been spotted with coaches on the sidelines, including former Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, who now serves as an advisor to the team.
Lattimore waved his hand dismissively as he walked past Brady and possibly said something to him.
Brady took offense and turned to Lattimore, offering his own words. Tampa Bay RB Leonard Fournette was next to Brady and appeared to stretch out his arms to prevent Lattimore from getting to his quarterback.
Lattimore pushed back and then put his hands on Brady, who pulled a flag. As he did so, Evans rushed in from the touchline and missed a hit on Lattimore that sent him down – he also got a flag.
The sidelines emptied as the players started shoving each other. Coaches and officials were helpless in resolving and clarifying the situation, with each team being hit with multiple penalties.
In the end, Lattimore and Evans were both knocked out of the game. This is just the latest in a long history of confrontations between the two.
In 2017, Evans was suspended for a game for running onto the field and poking Lattimore in the back. In 2020, the two feuded again – this time with incitement by Lattimore and Evans knocking off his opponent’s helmet.
This could result in harsher penalties for the two as the league continues to review the incident.