What you might not know is that Davis believes that’s not just a testament to his own resiliency. It’s also a testament to the Panthers’ faith in him. General Manager Marty Hurney told the Associated Press that Davis is a “special guy in the locker room,” something that has earned him the chance to make a comeback that others in his position have never received.
“I’m just very appreciative of this team to give me the opportunity to come back three times,” Davis said. “I think that is part of the problem with a lot of guys that had torn their knees up three times — they were never given that opportunity. So I’m extremely appreciative to the Panthers.”
The Panthers’ charitable spirit only goes so far. Davis had to restructure his contract to pay him the veteran’s minimum of $700,000 and give up an $8 million bonus to remain in Charlotte, but it is hard to imagine he was going to get a better deal or a better shot at playing time anywhere else.
Right now, Davis is behind rookie Luke Kuechly, Jon Beason and James Anderson at linebacker. Even if Davis doesn’t start, a return to health will be a boost to a Panthers defense that needs to be better than it was last season. You could say the same about Beason, although he isn’t facing odds quite as long as the ones Davis faces as he tries to restart his career once again.