For the second time this season, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams had to leave a game early after taking a vicious helmet-to-helmet shot from a defender. The Packers ended up losing the game 31-24 to the Carolina Panthers.
It meant Adams was removed from the game with a concussion, unable to help his team try to win a game that they so desperately needed. Adams’ teammates were upset. Coach Mike McCarthy said after the game that he didn’t see it and was reserving comment until he did. When he speaks with reporters later this evening, his view of the hit will likely equal the frustration of his players.
Adams took to Twitter this morning saying, “I’ll never understand it. Game is already dangerous enough and we get Pro Bowl players out here headhunting and saying they ‘didn’t mean to hurt me.”
Adams went on to say, “Somebody please explain to me what I wasn’t trying to hurt him means when we nowhere near the play and you lead with ya head and ear hole a defenseless player.”
Thomas Davis responded this morning to Adams. He said, “I understand your frustration and I do apologize for the hit! In no way was I trying to hurt you. My first instinct was turn and block. In all sincerity I do apologize. I truly respect you as a player and I made a mistake!”
Davis, a Walter Payton Man of the Year award winner, has stated in the past that players need to take care of each other on the field. He did look upset after the play on the sidelines and didn’t speak with reporters after the game.
This type of activity has gone on for some time now. The players are affected the most. They’re the ones playing such a dangerous sport. They say the right things, but don’t follow through. So if the players can’t police themselves, then the NFL has to do it.
Some believe the targeting rules in college have not worked. I disagree.
While you still see helmet shots in the college game on occasion, you have to watch a lot of college football to see what you’re seeing every game in the NFL.
In college, the rule is simple. If a players strikes another player in a helmet to helmet fashion, the intent doesn’t matter. The offending player is ejected. If it comes in the second half, then the offending player is out for that game, plus another. Players only get so many opportunities in a season to play games that count. Players don’t want to be sidelined where they can’t help their team.
In the NFL, players make too much money to have the current form of discipline work. The last time Thomas Davis took liberties on an offense player with his helmet, he was fined just shy of $50,000. It’s obvious that fines don’t work because here we are, Davis is guilty of another infraction. The fine will likely be bigger this time and maybe a one game suspension will come with it, but don’t hold your breath.
If these penalties would be an automatic ejection and loss of a game check, now that is hitting players from two different directions. It’s a much bigger shot to the wallet and just think how bad Davis would have felt if he would have been ejected and the Panther defense wouldn’t have come up with a big play in the end and lost the game? Now things are a bit different.
First time offenders are ejected. Second time offenders get two games without pay. And so on.
I do believe that some of these hits are not on purpose, but too many of them are either flat-out dirty or at the very least or players are just losing control of their mind and emotion as they go to make a play. Players need to be responsible for their actions. If they can’t control their emotions and it’s going to lead to these types of vicious hits, then the league is going to have to step in.
Instead of players standing up, or sitting down for all of the issues in our world today, why doesn’t somebody get creative to protest all of the garbage that is going on in the game today.
How many more terrible hits and resulting concussions will it take before the league and its players wake up. Everybody is saying the right things, but nobody, and I mean nobody, is coming up with a concrete solution.
Players are being crippled by the game they play. Resulting long-term brain injuries have caused many to leave this world way too early. How much more to we need to see?
And why do the fans keep coming back? Many of them are angered by the type of illegal on field activity that is resulting in serious player injuries. Yet the same fans line up at the turnstiles for the next game and spend their hard-earned money on anything and everything that the NFL and its teams are selling.
I’ve met and talked with people who are at that point. Some would rather spend a Sunday afternoon doing something more constructive than watch an NFL game. But most people I talk to discuss boycotting the NFL game, but I know deep down that it’ll be a long time before that ever happens.
The game is still very popular, but I am seeing signs that fans are getting frustrated. I’m also seeing signs that players are getting frustrated as well, waiting for the NFL to stand up and take a stand. For the league’s sake, they might not want to wait too long to draw that line in the sand!