Inside the Panthers

Have you heard the official’s explanation of Thomas Davis’ unnecessary roughness?

Linebacker Thomas Davis had several big hits Sunday in the Carolina Panthers’ 17-3 win at Tampa Bay on Sunday.

But it was the biggest one that drew a penalty and left Davis bewildered at the official’s explanation.

Davis, 6-1 and 235 pounds, was flagged for unneccessary roughness after drilling 5-11 receiver Adam Humphries after a 4-yard catch early in the second quarter. Davis argued his case on the field that the hit was clean, but the Walt Coleman-led crew felt differently.

“The explanation was (the official) heard helmet to helmet, which is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard a ref tell me,” Davis said.

“I don’t understand that part. I aimed lower than the guy. The guy’s shorter than me

“I clearly didn’t feel like it was a dirty play. But the ref made the call and at the end of the day we have to live with it.”

This is the second season in a row Davis has drawn the ire of Buccaneers’ fans.

In a Week 17 game last season Davis had a hard hit on receiver Russell Shepard, who’s now with the Panthers. No penalty was called, although the fans at Raymond James Stadium booed lustily after the replay was shown several times on the videoboard.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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