It’s believed that no NFL player has ever returned from three ACL surgeries on the same knee. Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis is trying to become the first.
“Every day I go in I’m looking at it like I’m making history. That’s my goal,” Davis told Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.
Davis is universally respected in Carolina for his work ethic and toughness. That’s why the Panthers risked giving him a $7 million signing bonus last offseason despite his injury history. That risk didn’t pay off.
The team will now have to adjust his contract to bring him back. They have a club option for $8 million due by March 14. The Panthers will likely cut Davis and re-sign him later in the offseason if they can’t restructure the deal soon.
“I’m pretty confident that something will get worked out,” Davis said. “It’s something that’s not crossing my mind right now.”
It’s hard to imagine another team making a commitment to Davis at this point because of his injury history. The Panthers have shown support throughout the process and would love nothing more than to see Davis beat the odds and re-join Jon Beason in the team’s starting lineup.
“From now on when you see certain things happen to guys, certain injuries, there will be more teams that will be more willing to give guys opportunities based on a guy they can point out, ‘Look at Thomas Davis down in Carolina. He came back from three to the same knee and he’s able to play, and he’s playing at a high level.’” Davis said.