There’s a reason Danny Trevathan wasn’t ejected from the Chicago Bears‘ blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night: The “new rule” mandating ejections for egregious hits to the head, reported by NFL Media in March, isn’t actually a rule yet.
Here’s the original report.
The NFL rule on automatic ejections for egregious hits to the head was approved. Sounds like the competition committee expected this
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 28, 2017
Six months and one terrifying hit to Packers wideout Davante Adams later, and the league is now saying the rule was never approved or adopted, according to Pro Football Talk, who spoke with an NFL spokesperson.
Though he couldn’t be ejected, the league has suspended Trevathan for two games for his hit on Adams.
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) September 30, 2017
He’ll appeal the decision.
Bears LB Danny Trevathan is appealing his two-game suspension for violating NFL player safety rules, per source. Appeal this week.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 30, 2017
While Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was forgiving when asked about the play following his team’s 35-14 victory, not every Packer felt that way.
“What we thought was f**ked up was that he was celebrating that play,” said tight end Martellus Bennett. “You get your ass kicked, you took a cheap shot, and you celebrate when a guy goes down. That’s what really pissed us off.”
After a visit to the hospital in which he was checked for a concussion and neck injuries, Adams is back at home, recovering.
At home feeling great. Appreciate the prayers🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
— Davante Adams (@tae15adams) September 29, 2017
Trevathan’s hit could contribute to the NFL’s actually adopting an automatic suspension rule next season.
The problem with making suspension rulings after the game—rather than ejecting the player—is with fairness.
The Packers destroyed the Bears, even with Trevathan on the field and Adams off it. But had Green Bay been playing an actual NFL team with more than a handful of actual NFL players, their losing a valuable receiver while the opponent who delivered the dirty blow remained for the rest of the game could have affected the outcome of the contest. If anything, the offending team benefits most from the hit in this scenario—a 15-yard penalty well worth not having to guard a receiver who caught 12 touchdowns a season ago.
As it stands right now, the only people benefitting from Trevathan’s punishment are the Minnesota Vikings and the Baltimore Ravens, the Bears’ next two opponents.