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The faint hope that an appeal of Mike Evans’ one-game suspension would be heard and accepted by the NFL was dashed Wednesday afternoon.
The NFL said hearing officer James Thrash, jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association, has affirmed the one-game suspension.
That means Evans, Tampa Bay’s leading receiver, will not play against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Evans was suspended for violations of the unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules during Sunday’s game between the Buccaneers and Saints. Evans was involved in a fracas with New Orleans cornerback Marshon Lattimore that grew to a confrontation between the two teams.
Lattimore and Evans were tossed from the game but Lattimore was not suspended.
The Bucs, dealing with the Evans suspension and a hamstring injury that has slowed Chris Godwin, signed veteran Cole Beasley this week. But coach Todd Bowles said Wednesday that Beasley, currently on the practice squad, is an option only if the team keeps losing receivers.
The Bucs wide receiving corps is banged up with the aforementioned Godwin’s hamstring and Julio Jones missing Sunday’s game with a knee injury.
A league source told OutKick that Evans’ appeal was basically centered around the fact he had already been ejected from the game. The receiver’s representatives said that was punishment enough for violating the rules. The idea that other players in the past have been involved in incidents in which they fought and even punched and choked other players but had not been suspended for any period of time was also floated during the appeal.
While the suspension comes without pay, Evans earlier this year restructured his contract. Evans had $12.88 million of his original base salary converted to bonus for salary cap purposes, which gives him a $1.12 million base salary this season.
And that means he will give up 1/18th of that — or $62,222 — for missing the game. Evans can return to the team next Monday.
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