Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan has been suspended without pay for two games for violating the NFL's safety-related playing rules in Thursday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers.
Trevathan hit Packers wide receiver Davante Adams late in the third quarter of the Packers' 35-14 victory over the Bears. Adams was taken to a local hospital and examined for head and neck injuries, as well as a concussion, but was released Friday.
NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension, citing Rule 12, Section 2, Article 6 (i), which states that a player may not use any part of the "helmet or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily.”
Adams had been wrapped up and his forward progress stopped on the play. But Trevathan made contact with his helmet into that of Adams, who snapped backward upon impact. His mouthpiece flew out and Adams lay motionless on the ground as teammates waved for medical staff to hurry to his aid.
Trevathan is expected to appeal, and he has three business days to do so. His appears will either be heard by Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the former NFL players jointly appointed by the league and the NFLPA to hear appeals of on-field player discipline cases.
If Trevathan's appeal is denied, he'd miss games against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5 and Week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens and would be eligible to return to the Bears’ active roster the day following that game — on Monday, October 16.
Packers players not only were upset by the lateness of Trevathan's hit but also by the fact that he appeared to celebrate it while Adams was knocked out on Lambeau Field.
“That was [expletive] up,” Packers tight end Martellus Bennett said. “What we thought was most [messed] up was that he was celebrating that play. You make a cheap shot then celebrate when the guy goes down. That’s what really pissed us off.”
Added Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers: “I don’t like anybody celebrating when a guy gets carted off the field."
Trevathan, who has never had the reputation of being a dirty player, said after the game that he was not trying to injure Adams.
"I was just trying to make a play,” he said. “It wasn't intentional. I was just trying to do my job and he ended up getting hurt."