The Panthers won’t have Steve Smith or Jon Beason when they play the Jets on Sunday night, but they will have Thomas Davis in their lineup.
Coach Ron Rivera announced Friday, via Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer, that the linebacker will be making the next step of his attempted comeback from a third torn ACL on the same knee. Davis has been bothered by a calf issue during training camp, but he practiced this week and got the green light to get back on the field for his first game since Week Two of last season.
Davis has played just nine games in the last three seasons because of his knee injuries and making it all the way back to being the player he was before the three torn ACLs is probably an impossibility. If he can get close, though, the Panthers defense will have a place for him and it will make for one of the more remarkable injury comeback stories in recent memory.
Rivera officially ruled out Smith and Beason, who has a hamstring injury interfering with his return from the 2011-ending Achilles injury, on Friday. You probably could have won some money if you placed a bet on Davis making it back to a game before Beason, but, then, you probably could have won some money on Davis making it back at all.