Another Monday, another day spent wondering what the league office will do about an illegal act that may or may not require a suspension.
Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis applied an illegal helmet-to-helmet blindside block against Packers receiver Davante Adams, knocking him out of the game with a concussion. It was the second time this year that Adams found himself concussed by an illegal hit; in Week Four, Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan sent Adams to the hospital with a helmet-to-helmet hit after Adams’ forward progress was stopped.
So what will the league do to Davis? It was the same hit as the one that got Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster suspended two weeks ago. The only difference was that Smith-Schuster also taunted Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, which the league mentioned in the suspension letter. Balancing out the taunting by Smith-Schuster is the fact that Davis was fined $48,000 several weeks back for a separate illegal hit, which puts him in line for greater discipline this time around.
The end result is that we won’t know until we know what the league will do. Which underscores the lack of predictability and consistency that arises from this entire process. Yes, there’s independence when it comes to reviewing the decisions made by 345 Park Avenue. But with a former player making the initial decision and with former players responsible for the appeal, the importance of complying with precedent sometimes gets lost in the shuffle.
And sometimes the people making the decisions may not even be aware of it. They’re arguably reacting to the moments the way fans do, with a stronger response coming for illegal hits that occur in high-profile, stand-alone games. With the Davis hit happening at 1:00 p.m. ET, it possibly didn’t register the same way it would have if the game had been played at night, with no other games being played at the same time.