The Panthers are riding the kind of natural high associated with their first winning streak of the season, and one player has been instrumental in that success. Thomas Davis has come back from injuries that would have sent others into retirement, and along with his off-field charity and volunteer work, he now has the honor of being the Panthers’ nominee for a very significant award named after an NFL legend.
The Panthers are playing the way many expected them to early in the season so one might say it is better late than never. If fans thought their team played a well rounded game against the Falcons last weekend, the whooping they put on the Chargers on Sunday was as good, if not better.
The Drive Thursday 12-13-12 -Thomas Davis talks with The Drive about his incredible come back this season, if he expected this type of season and if he expects to play again next season.
In a season chocked full of rookie sensations, one is rapidly climbing the Defensive Rookie of the Year ladder. Linebacker Luke Kuechly leads the league in tackles, just like he led the nation at Boston College, and despite the Panthers losing record, he could get serious consideration for the top first year player award. Carolina is also knee deep in players on injured reserve.
On the field, Thomas Davis stares down the opposition, but off it the Panthers’ linebacker has had to stare down something much scarier: the surgeon’s knife. In two years Davis has torn an ACL three times, and despite those injuries, he has come back to play the game he loves in the town where his heart is and everyone, save his opponents, is glad he did.
Not many people knew what to expect when the Chiefs hosted the Panthers on Sunday, because there was nothing to compare it to, but right from the opening drive there was a sense the home team was about to play their best game of the season. And they did, despite the horrific murder-suicide that took place a little more than 24-hours earlier.
So what if Cam Newton was the leading rusher – again? Who cares if special teams was a disaster – again? The Panthers did what they were supposed to and that was hand the Eagles their seventh straight loss and keep some hope alive to at least reach last year’s win total.
If the Panthers are to get their third win of the season this may be the weekend to do it even though they will be playing on the road. The Eagles are arguably the worst team in the league and things don’t get any better for them with two of their offensive stars sitting this one out.
Injuries should not play a major part in the final meeting of the year between the Buccaneers and Panthers this Sunday at Bank of American Stadium as only one player is listed as out. However, the Buccaneers have a concern at guard with starter Jamon Meredith hobbled with an ankle injury.
Jeremy Bridges has yet to play a game this season but Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera believes he is exactly the right man to plug at least one hole in a porous offensive line. If the name sounds familiar, Bridges was a member of the Panthers from 2006-08 and if he is good to go, he could slide right in as a starter.