Pending an appeal, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be without Pro Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans for Sunday’s home opener against the Green Bay Packers.
Bucs head coach Todd Bowles reacted to the situation Monday, making it clear that it’s teachable moment for his players.
“We don’t want any fighting in our game because if we lose a good player, it doesn’t help our team,” Bowles said. “So, we don’t condone that, we don’t teach that, we don’t want that in our game.”
“The fighting alone loses a player for the next game [and] it hurts our team because we lose a very good ballplayer,” Bowles continued. “We don’t want that, we don’t condone it, and we’ve got to move forward and try to find a way to win without him. But that should be a lesson to all of our other players.”
Bowles admitted that while it’s understandable for things to get emotional when defending your teammates in a game like football, his players still have to find a way to channel their aggression effectively.
“It’s always a fine line,” Bowles said. “This is a controlled-aggression game. It’s a controlled-aggression game and you try to protect your teammates, but you’ve got to do it the right way.”
The Bucs are already dealing with multiple injuries at wide receiver, as both Chris Godwin and Julio Jones missed Sunday’s game, which could make Evans’ absence in Week 3 even more significant.