Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan was suspended two games without pay by the NFL for his illegal helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams in Thursday’s 35-14 loss.
The NFL announced the suspension for the former University of Kentucky star Saturday afternoon. Trevathan has said he would appeal any suspension, and by rule he has three business days to do so.
If the suspension stands, Trevathan will be eligible to return to the Bears’ active roster on Monday, Oct. 16, following the team’s Oct. 15 game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Adams tweeted Friday that he was at home and “feeling great” a day after taking the frightening hit. Adams was taken off the field on a stretcher with about 4 minutes left in the third quarter after getting hit in the head during a tackle by Trevathan. The game was delayed for about 5 minutes while medical personnel tended to Adams. He gave a thumbs-up signal as he was wheeled off the field.
Trevathan was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty following Adams’ 8-yard catch but was not ejected and any fine would not come to light until next week. Green Bay won the game 35-14.
“It was definitely a scary moment,” said wide receiver Randall Cobb, who was one of the players who waved over to the Packers’ sideline for the medical staff immediately after the hit.
Packers Coach Mike McCarthy wouldn’t say Friday whether he thought Trevathan should be suspended, though he left little doubt how he felt about the play.
“Brutal hit,” McCarthy said. “It’s a helmet-to-helmet hit. Davante was in a compromised position. Obviously, like everything in our game, it’s evaluated and I’m sure there will be continued conversation going on through the channels long past today.”
Asked if Trevathan should have been ejected for the hit, McCarthy replied, “There’s rules, application of rules and the ability to make the right call. My focus is really on the player safety aspect of it.”
“You never want to see anybody get hurt,” Bears Coach John Fox said. “Danny Trevathan’s not a dirty player and he’s not out to hurt anybody. They’re part of the game; people will look at it but there was nothing intentional about it by any stretch.”
Trevathan said after Thursday’s game that he did not realize how vicious his hit had been.
“I realized it once he laid there for a while,” Trevathan said. “I saw his mouthpiece over there on the other side and he wasn’t moving and I saw his fingers twitching. I knew it wasn’t good. I just immediately dropped down and started praying.”
Replays of Trevathan’s hit proved jarring. As safety Adrian Amos held Adams up near the Bears 10-yard line, Trevathan came from away from the play and blasted the Packers receiver. The crown of Trevathan’s helmet smashed into Adams’ head.
“I was just trying to make a play,” Trevathan asserted. “It wasn’t intentional. I was just trying to hustle to the ball and do my job. Unfortunately, he wound up hurt. I’m sorry about that. And I’m going to reach out to him and try to send him a message. We play a physical game. But you never wish that on anybody.”
Trevathan was asked after the game whether he regretted the hit after seeing it on replay.
“I regret just the level I hit him at,” he said. “I could have been a little better. But you have to understand I was (gathering) momentum and I was just trying to make a play. Nothing intentional. It happens in this game.”
After the play, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took exception to Bears players celebrating the hit on Adams initially. Rodgers also spoke at length with Trevathan on the field.
“I trust when Danny said that he wasn’t trying to him like that,” Rodgers said. “He is one of the hardest hitting players in the NFL. … I don’t think he was intentionally trying to hurt (Davante). But he did give him a good whack and unfortunately ’Te got knocked out.”