Panthers want to curtail Thomas Davis’ playing time this season

Getty Images

Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis hasn’t come off the field much the last two seasons.

Davis played 91 percent of the team’s defensive snaps during the 2015 season and saw that number go up to 94 percent last year as the veteran remained a vital part of the unit. Davis is set to remain a major piece of the puzzle in Carolina, but the team would like to have him on the field less over the course of this season.

Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks said Monday that the team would like to see 2015 first-round pick Shaq Thompson take some of Davis’ snaps in order to reduce the impact of the “wear and tear” that Davis’ body undergoes each year.

“With Thomas Davis getting up there in age and years, we’ve got to cut down on his reps,” Wilks said, via the team’s website. “So there will be times where Shaq is going to be in, and we’re going to try to relieve Thomas to give him some rest.”

Finding more playing time for Thompson is an understandable goal as he’s played less than half the snaps in each of his first two seasons, but taking Davis off the field may be easier said than done if he’s playing well come the fall. That’s been the case for most of his time in Carolina, so it will bear watching to see if May’s hope becomes reality later this year.