Video: Was Thomas Davis’s Packers-Panthers Cheapshot Worse Than Rob Gronkowski’s Bills Hit?

It turns out there is a worse cheapshot in the NFL in 2017 than the brutal, completely unnecessary hit that Rob Gronkowski laid on the Buffalo Bills’ Tre’Davious White in Week 13.

During the Carolina Panthers’ win over the Packers on Sunday—a result that all but eliminated Green Bay from playoff contention—Thomas Davis blindsided Davante Adams during an interception return.

Davis, the Panthers’ All-Pro linebacker, went helmet-to-helmet on Adams as the receiver attempted to reverse direction following the Aaron Rodgers interception.

The result was predictably horrible. Adams was taken off the field and diagnosed with concussion for the second time this season. The Panthers took a penalty on the play but Davis wasn’t ejected from the game. "I think it was an unnecessary hit," Rodgers said after the game in quotes reported by Yahoo Sports. "Unfortunately [if] I throw a better ball that situation doesn't happen.

"He's a repeat offender, so I’m sure the league will deal with him according to that."

Davis showed what looked like genuine remorse after the hit. “As Adams was down, television cameras showed Davis on the sideline, head in his hands, shaken up by what had happened,” Frank Schwab wrote for the Shutdown Corner blog. “Players will say all the time after causing injuries on unnecessary hits that they didn’t mean to injure anyone, but it usually rings hollow. Davis’ angst seemed sincere.”

His contrition probably won’t save him from a suspension, though, as a repeat offender who has paid out more than $100,000 in fines for hits throughout his career. Add Davis’s shot to Gronkowski’s and what seems like myriad other headshots this season and the league, which should be getting safer, feels increasingly brutal.

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