Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams left Sunday's loss in the third quarter after suffering a concussion on an illegal hit to the head by Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis following an Aaron Rodgers interception.
"I saw the reaction on our sideline. I know a lot of guys thought it was a dirty hit," coach Mike McCarthy said, noting he'd reserve final judgment until after seeing the play on video.
Players weren't in such a mood to wait on judgment.
"I was pretty pissed off at first when I saw the replay at how unnecessary it was," Randall Cobb said, via ESPN's Rob Demovsky. "But once I saw 'Tae' moving, he was all right and I was happy to see he was able to walk off the field."
Added Rodgers: "I'm obviously concerned when he's not out there and he goes in [the locker room]. He had the rough one at home against Chicago, came back in a week. Everybody's brain responds differently to traumatic contact like that. I hope he's able to respond favorably."
It's the third concussion Adams has suffered in the past two years.
Davis, a Walter Payton Man of The Year award winner, has noted in the past that players must try to take care of each other on the field. The linebacker looked distraught on the sideline after the hit, likely knowing it was as bad as it looked. The linebacker did not speak with the media after the win.
The hit is subject to review for possible discipline.
The NFL has recently discussed adding a targeting rule, like the one in college, which would come with an automatic ejection for forcible hits to the helmet. Not everyone believes adding such a rule would solve hits like the one that took Adams out of the game.
"It's not going to stop anything," Packers receiver Jordy Nelson said. "They've got targeting rules in college, and they still do it. So guys have to take it upon themselves to be smart. That's what they're doing. I mean, it's a game, it's a livelihood. You don't want that."
Nelson continued: "Guys are in full control of their bodies there. You can control that. You know the guy's not looking. I don't know if Davante was even moving. So it's one of those things that we control our bodies at extreme rates all the time, and I think that's something you can control. I know Thomas a little bit. I know he's a great guy, but I also believe he can control that a little bit better than he did there."
Adams voiced his frustration on Twitter Monday morning:
"I'll never understand it. Game is already dangerous enough and we got Pro Bowl players out here head hunting and saying they "didn't mean to harm me."
"Somebody please explain to me what I wasn't trying to hurt him means when we nowhere near the play and u lead with ya head and ear hole a defenseless player ..."
"Look it's football but no room for [expletive] like that. We supposed to be in this together n look out for one another not mess with a mans livelihood and hand out unnecessary concussions. We all got mouths to feed what if I did that to him and his kids can't eat ..."
"Not the type to rant but when u go through this (expletive) twice in a year it takes a lil toll on u so excuse me."
Davis apologized Monday to Adams on Twitter: "I understand your frustration and I do apologize for the hit! In no way was I trying to hurt you. My first instinct was turn and make a block. In all sincerity I do apologize. I truly respect you as a player and I made a mistake!"