Davis delivered the blow in the third quarter of the Panthers' 31-24 victory against the Green Bay Packers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
Panthers safety Colin Jones picked off Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Blockers started to pick up potential tacklers during Jones' return. Davis locked in on Packers wide receiver Davante Adams. The pass catcher did not see the linebacker coming. Davis drilled Adams in the helmet with his helmet and shoulder.
Adams left the game with a concussion, his third in the last 14 months.
"During an interception return, you took a path toward your opponent who was pursuing the play and delivered a violent and unnecessary blindside block to his head and neck area," Runyan wrote in a letter to Davis. "You have been previously fined for violations of safety-related rules. Your actions yesterday warrant an escalation of discipline, not only because they were flagrant, but also because of your status as a repeat offender."
Davis is eligible to return to the Panthers' active roster on Monday, Jan. 1. The Panthers face the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 31 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Dec. 24.
Somebody please explain to me what I wasnt trying to hurt him means when we nowhere near the play and u lead with ya head and ear hole a defenseless player....— Davante Adams (@tae15adams) December 18, 2017
Rodgers predicted that Davis would be dealt with according to his status as a "repeat offender." Davis was also fined for an illegal hit earlier this season against the Buccaneers.
Adams was on the receiving end of another brutal hit in September when the Packers faced the Chicago Bears. He was knocked out of that game with a concussion after being blasted by Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan. Trevathan was suspended for two games initially, but had that ban reduced upon appeal.
Davis is also expected to appeal the suspension.
On Monday, Adams crafted several Twitter posts about the hit.
"I'll never understand it," Adams tweeted. "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 for the hit.
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!— Thomas Davis (@ThomasDavisSDTM) December 18, 2017
"I understand your frustration and I do apologize for the hit! In no way was I trying to hurt you," he tweeted. "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!"