Why Thomas Davis Was Suspended 2 Games For Helmet-To-Helmet Hit On Davante Adams

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Pending appeal, the Carolina Panthers will be without star linebacker Thomas Davis for the final two games of their push to the playoffs, thanks to his vicious blindside head shot to Green Bay Packers wide receiver  Davante Adams on Sunday.

That Davis’ suspension will last two games didn’t sit right with some, not after Rob Gronkowski received a one-game suspension for targeting an opponent’s head during a dead ball and JuJu Smith-Schuster got a game ban for celebrating his head shot of bully Vontaze Burfict.

But there’s a key difference in Davis’ case and those of Gronk and Smith-Schuster: He’s a repeat offender.

Earlier this season, Davis was fined $48,620 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Adam Humphries in Week 8.

Back in 2014, he was fined for committing a similar infraction, victimizing Jimmy Graham.

According to the league’s letter to Davis, explaining their decision, his history factored in: “Your actions yesterday warrant an escalation of discipline, not only because they were flagrant, but also because of your status as a repeat offender.”

Of the Gronk, Davis, and Smith-Schuster hits this season, the New England Patriots tight end’s was by far the least defensible—there’s no possible viable excuse for targeting a player’s head between plays. And though the NFL’s punishing methods are thousands of miles from consistent, there’s at least some reasoning behind this decision.

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