Panthers LB Thomas Davis suspended two games for illegal hit

Carolina Panthers

After a helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers wide receiver Davante Adams on Sunday, Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis has been suspended.

After an interception thrown by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, Thomas Davis turned into a blocker for safety Colin Jones. The veteran linebacker blindsided Packers wide receiver Davante Adams with a brutal hit, leading with his helmet. Say what you will about being aware and “keeping your head on a swivel,” Davis’ hit was illegal by the letter of the NFL law.

A suspension was sure to be coming, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter has reported a two-game ban for Davis. He will also, according to Schefter, appeal the suspension.

There is a precedent that may work in Davis’ favor on appeal. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster received a one-game suspension for his hit on Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict back in Week 13. Both plays were illegal blocks, in some fashion, but Davis is also a repeat offender based on a fine for another illegal hit earlier this season,.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan cited Davis’ previous offense as a reason for the two-game suspension.

For what it’s worth, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks doesn’t think the hit on Adams warranted a suspension.

“Definitely not,” Wilks said. “And I think you have to look at the person. We know Thomas is a class act. The emphasis right there was when you get an interception, you’re really trying to set the wall. We put a lot of emphasis on trying to score on defense. So I don’t think it was anything malicious in anything Thomas was trying to do.”

As expected, Adams still didn’t care for the hit and went on bit of a Twitter rant Monday morning.

As of right now, Davis will miss Week 16 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Week 17 against the Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers could still get into the playoffs with two losses, but a win or two would cement a playoff spot and possibly keep them in the mix for a first-round bye.

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