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Aaron Rodgers condemns Thomas Davis' hit on Davante Adams: 'He's a repeat offender'

The NFL will review Thomas Davis' hit on Davante Adams, and a fine or suspension is possible. We at least know how Aaron Rodgers feels about it.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Judging by the emotion he displayed after the fact, Thomas Davis knew.

The Panthers linebacker knew he had just delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit when he blindside-blocked Packers wide receiver Davante Adams during a Colin Jones interception return early in the third quarter of the Panthers' 31-24 win over the Packers on Sunday. He knew his hit was dangerous, especially on a player like Adams, who went through concussion protocol after a brutal hit against the Bears earlier this season. He knew an NFL-imposed fine likely would be coming his way. A suspension is possible, too.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers after the game was asked about Davis' hit, which the NFL will review. He paused before answering, seemingly choosing his words carefully.

"I think it was an unnecessary hit," Rodgers said. "Unfortunately (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."

Indeed, Davis was fined $48,620 earlier this season for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Buccaneers wide receiver Adam Humphries. Including that amount, Davis has been fined a total of $122,184 for six separate incidents throughout his 12-year career. He has not been suspended for an illegal hit.

Adams, who required medical attention on the field after the hit before he was helped off, later was ruled out with a concussion. When asked about Adams' condition, Rodgers said he had not spoken to the wide receiver, but said, "I’m obviously concerned when he’s not out there."

Davis was not made available to media for comment after the game.

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Rodgers and Davis had a lengthy conversation on the field during a replay review late in the fourth quarter. Rodgers refused to reveal what was said in that moment.

"Not going to get into it," he said.


Adams on Monday morning expressed his thoughts on Davis' hit via a series of tweets from his Twitter account.

"I’ll never understand it," Adams wrote. "Game is already dangerous enough and we got Pro Bowl players out here head hunting and saying they 'didn’t mean to harm me' ... Somebody please explain to me what I wasnt trying to hurt him means when we nowhere near the play and u lead with ya head and ear hole a defenseless player ...

"Look it’s football but no room for s— like that. We supposed to be in this together n look out for one another not mess with a mans livelihood and hand out unnecessary concussions. We all got mouths to feed what if I did that to him and his kids cant eat ... Not the type to rant but when u go through this s— twice in a year it takes a lil toll on u so excuse me."

As far as suspensions for helmet-to-helmet hits this year are concerned, Bengals safety George Iloka initially was suspended one game for his violent blow to Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in Week 13, but the suspension was reduced to a $36,464.50 fine upon appeal. Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan initially was suspended two games for the aforementioned hit on Adams, but his suspension was reduced to one game upon appeal. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict initially was suspended five games for a hit on the Chiefs' Anthony Sherman in August, but the league reduced the ban to three games upon appeal.

"Players just have to do it," fellow Green Bay wideout Jordy Nelson said when asked what can be done in order to prevent such hits. "Players have to control themselves and take care of one another. They have targeting rules in college and they still do it. Guys have to take it upon themselves to be smart with what they are doing. It's a game. It's our livelihood and you don't want that.

"I think guys can control themselves. You can lower your target. Like I said, it's the individual person. Some guys I think have addressed it and others haven't."

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Rodgers, when asked what the NFL can do in its attempt to remove such dangerous hits from the game, replied with a verbal shrug.

"Ask them," he said.