Panthers Ron Rivera: Thomas Davis hit was not intentional
I have been in the home of Thomas and Kelly Davis. If I’ve been in your home, you are not a dirty player. Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis is not a dirty player.
But Davis’ helmet-to-helmet hit Sunday against Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams was a dirty play. Because Davis was fined $48,620 two months ago for a hit on Tampa Bay receiver Adam Humphries, the league referred to Davis as a “repeat offender” and suspended him two games. On Wednesday, the NFL reduced the penalty to a single-game suspension.
Carolina’s Colin Jones had intercepted an Aaron Rodgers pass and Davis said he was throwing a block at Adams. After the hit, Davis did not stand over Adams and taunt him. Davis went to the bench and looked as if he were taunting himself. Davis felt terrible. He was not hunting for anybody’s head. But the NFL doesn’t determine intent.
If the league really went after dirty players, the only way Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict could play is if he qualified for work release. I’ve never been to his house.
We know Davis. He and Kelly have a foundation called Defending Dreams, and I’ve been privileged to attend three of its events. Thomas and Kelly make the team better and the town better.
But I don’t care how much you love your Panthers. Davis did this.