Football is violent. That won’t change. For better or worse it’s part of the game.
But there should be at least some basic respect and decency for fellow competitors. There was none to be seen from Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan on what will end up (hopefully) as the dirtiest hit of this season.
In the third quarter of Thursday night’s 35-14 Green Bay Packers blowout, receiver Davante Adams caught a short pass on third-and-goal. He was being held up by a Bears defender well short of the goal line. The play, for all purposes, was over. Trevathan came in and drilled Adams in the head with an unnecessary, vicious helmet-to-helmet hit.
— SportsNotes (@SportsNotes23) September 29, 2017
Adams’ mouthpiece flew out and his body went limp as he fell to the ground. Packers players frantically waved for the trainers and they came out running. Trevathan was given a 15-yard penalty, but that’s not enough. That’s the same as Von Miller got for a “too slow” joke with Tyrod Taylor. It’s the same as Odell Beckham got for mimicking a dog peeing after he scored a touchdown. Neither of the latter two infractions ended up with someone leaving the field on a stretcher. Adams was taken away from Lambeau Field in an ambulance after he was taken off the field.
Adams gave a thumbs up signal as he left the field, and everyone was thankful for that.
Adams is conscious and has movement in all his extremities. He's been taken to a hospital for further testing.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 29, 2017
Now the NFL has to act on Trevathan. As ESPN’s Kevin Seifert said, the NFL approved suspensions for “egregious” hits over the offseason, even on a first offense. That certainly would seem to apply to Trevathan. This seems like an easy call. The officials in the game should be reprimanded for not ejecting Trevathan, while the NFL is at it. A message needs to be sent that headhunting and trying to injure fellow players isn’t OK with the league.
Trevathan showed some contrition after the game:
Danny Trevathan said he plans to reach out to Davante Adams. "My main concern is that he's OK. … I never wish that on nobody."
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) September 29, 2017
Aaron Rodgers took the high road. He said he doesn’t “like anybody celebrating when a guy gets carted off the field,” which is why he was talking to the Bears and Trevathan after the play. But when he was asked if he through Trevathan should have been ejected, he didn’t call out the Bears linebacker.
“I trust when Danny said he wasn’t trying to intentionally hit him like that … I don’t think he was intentionally trying to hurt (Davante),” Rodgers said in his postgame press conference, which was streamed live on Twitter by the Packers.
Football will always have a violent component, and there will always be scary injuries. The NFL can do everything it wants to make the game safer, but it can’t make the game safe. Trevathan’s hit was more than that. You’d like to think players would look out for their fellow players a little better, even if they are opponents.
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