Former Bulldog Davis catches another tough break

Mostly is has been Thomas Davis uplifting the Panthers - although here it's Ryan Kalil giving him a boost. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Mostly is has been Thomas Davis uplifting the Panthers – although here it’s Ryan Kalil giving him a boost. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The most compelling reason – perhaps the sole one – to like the Carolina Panthers left Sunday’s NFC Championship game in the second quarter, holding his right arm.

Linebacker Thomas Davis does not leave a game unless something is torn or broken. The former Bulldog became the beating heart of the Panthers defense precisely because of his unyielding determination to be on that field. Coming back from three ligament surgeries on the same knee underscored that point in scar tissue.

Even as Carolina played it coy with the extent of the injury Sunday, anyone who knew Davis didn’t have to possess a medical degree to know that the arm was broken. Nothing less than a fracture could have tied him to the sidelines.

Davis is the most tenured of the Panthers, in his 11th year after leaving Georgia following his junior season in 2004 for the first round of the NFL draft.

On a team of preening peacocks, where the quarterback has more ham in him than a Publix deli counter and where players pose for group photos while the game is still ongoing, Davis was the weighty counterbalance. And now that his chance to finish out an All Pro season at the Super Bowl is in doubt, what other reason is there to cheer for the Panthers?

At Georgia, Davis won the team’s Iron Man Award for his attitude and work habits. When the former safety returned six years into his NFL career to get his degree and walk at commencement in Athens, Mark Richt said, “He’s one of the greatest kids who ever came through here and one of the finest players who every came through here.”

Last year he was the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year for all his charitable work, which has included numerous child-oriented efforts such as building a playground for his tiny southwest Georgia town of Shellman.

How unfair is this game that a man such as this, who has turned rehab into a second career, might be denied a chance to show himself on the stage of Super Bowl 50? No one has more dearly earned a place in that circus of excess.

Davis held out hope that he would be back in two weeks for the game. “I believe in our training staff and I believe in the process. If it is at all possible I know they are going to get me back and I will do my part to make sure I’m ready,” he told reporters after Sunday’s victory over Arizona. You wouldn’t expect him to say anything less.

The man can heal, he has proven that. To be effective against Denver in two short weeks, however, may require intervention bordering on the divine.

It just would be all kinds of wrong for Carolina to make it to the biggest game without its most sterling player.

Reader Comments 0

19 comments
OH:IO
OH:IO

Pun intended?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

I had the pleasure of watching him in highschool  where he was a man among boys.  He's turned out to be a great football player and man, at the highest level.  Good luck, Thomas!

TOJacket
TOJacket

I hope he gets to play and I hope he kicks some A$$!!........bless this dawgs heart, sounds like he has a big one!

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Thomas "Pokey" Davis is a fine man and someone you would want your child to pick as a role model.  He has come a long way to beat poverty and become an outstanding person.  Cam Newton wishes he had some of the integrity, grit, and ethics of his teammate.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@RafeHollister Great post until your remarks about Cam......I bet Thomas Davis would straighten you out quicker than Andy....can't you dawgs get over your jealousy of others success?.....bunch of whiners....damn.....what the heck do you know about Cams integrity?.....lol.......nothing.

DawgsFan34
DawgsFan34

I miss UGA safeties and linebackers that hit like he and Blue did.  I hope he is able to play in the game, and if he is, I will be rooting for him to have a great game while the rest of the puddy tats play like they are a character from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Attack-U-Dawg
Attack-U-Dawg

Good article.  I agree that there was one reason to pull for Carolina and that was Thomas Davis.  Without him, that reason is gone.  I can't bring myself to pull for Scam as he runs around the field acting like a clown.  No other quarterback in the NFL runs around acting such way.  He is all about ME and nothing about (team). He even jumps into the middle of the picture to make sure he is the center.  I think he should be fined for excessive celebration every time he acts like a jumping idiot.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Attack-U-Dawg You morons are on a roll.......keep it going......"everybody cheats but us".....losers.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket 

Like "us" and the Falcons did???

Another ignorant Jacket post.

Talk about morons and losers.

Alexfam1
Alexfam1

@Attack-U-Dawg No one calls it "excessive" when he gives those touchdown footballs to smiling little kids......C'mon, give it a break....it's old already! And I am not even a Cam Newton guy....I am an LSU grad!