Thomas Davis expects a reduced role in 2018

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Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis remained a major part of the defense in his 13th NFL season.

Davis played just under 80 percent of the team’s defensive snaps while missing one game due to a suspension and played every snap against the Saints in Sunday’s 31-26 playoff loss. On Monday, Davis said he doesn’t expect to have the same kind of workload during the 2018 season.

“Being in my 13th year, I’m pretty sure coming back next year that it will be in a reduced role,” Davis said, via the team’s website. “Shaq [Thompson] has definitely earned the right, and when you look at [David] Mayo, he’s coming along. Obviously we still have Luke (Kuechly) here who is playing at an extremely high level. So we’ll see. We’ll see how it goes.”

Davis said he’s not “conceding” that it’s time for him to take on a backup role in Carolina, but it seems reasonable to expect that his playing time would go down while Thompson and/or Mayo take on more responsibilites. Davis is signed through the 2018 season, so his role could be set to drop even further come 2019.