CHARLOTTE – Wide receiver Davante Adams has bounced back quickly before from hits like the one he took on Sunday, and his Packers teammates are hoping his recovery follows a similar path this time.
Adams was removed from Sunday’s 31-24 loss to Carolina in the third quarter after absorbing a vicious and illegal blindside block from Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis on an interception return.
Diagnosed with a concussion, Adams did not return to the game, and his teammates were none too happy with Davis.
"By the reaction of our sideline I know a lot of guys felt it was a dirty hit,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “I’ll have a comment on it after I see the video.”
On the play, quarterback Aaron Rodgers had Randall Cobb open deep down the middle but underthrew the ball. Safety Colin Jones picked it off and on the runback, Davis leveled Adams with a helmet-to-helmet shot.
Adams was down on the field for a couple of minutes before getting up and walking off under his own power.
“I think it was an unnecessary hit,” Rodgers said. “It’s unfortunate. If I throw a better ball that situation doesn’t happen. He’s a repeat offender, so I’m sure the league will deal with him according to that.”
Davis was fined earlier this season for an illegal hit against Tampa Bay. He was not ejected from Sunday’s game, but he is in danger of being suspended.
The league is trying to take those types of hits out of the game, and there’s speculation the NFL will look into adopting a “targeting” rule similar to the one in college that allows for hits to be reviewed and players to be ejected immediately.
Adams’ fellow receiver, Jordy Nelson, is skeptical a college-like rule would make much difference, though. He’d rather see the players take more responsibility.
“Players have to control themselves and take care of one another,” Nelson said.
“It’s not going to stop anything. They have targeting rules in college and they still do it. Guys have to take it upon themselves to be smart. It’s a game, it’s our livelihood. You don’t want that.”
Nelson acknowledged the hits are hard to control in certain situations, but players lowering their target to make contact is where it has to start.
“It’s on the individual person,” Nelson said. “Some guys have adjusted, other guys haven’t.”
After the Packers’ final turnover with 1:50 left that sealed the win for the Panthers, Davis could be seen talking to Rodgers for a while before both left the field.
It’s possible he was talking to him about the Adams hit, but Rodgers wouldn’t disclose what the conversation was about.
Adams took a wicked hit over the middle from Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan earlier this season and was taken to a Green Bay hospital, but he returned to play in Dallas 10 days later. He also returned in less than a week last season, after taking a big hit but getting right back on the field for the ensuing Thursday night game. “I haven’t seen him yet, but obviously concerned,” Rodgers said. “He had a rough one at home against Chicago and came back in a week. Every brain responds differently to traumatic contact like that. Hopefully he responds favorably.”
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