Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis was ranked No. 73 in the NFL Top 100…
The eighth annual installment of the NFL Network Top 100 Greatest Players continues with Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis being ranked No. 73 overall. The first Panthers player included on the list, Davis garnered his third straight appearance for his performance this past season.
A career member of the Panthers, Davis enters his thirteenth season in Carolina this year and potentially his last. The recent revelation of a substance abuse infraction will have Davis sidelined for the first four games of 2018, meaning he could potentially return for one more season should he wish to play a full year prior to retirement.
A former Walter Payton Man of the Year Award recipient, Davis’ contributions both on the football field and off have made him a fan favorite and respected citizen of the Charlotte community. His resiliency, returning from multiple torn-ACL injuries in the middle of his career also make Davis and his legacy significant in franchise history.
For these reasons, he may wish to return for a complete season but the 2018 season outcome could also play into his decision. His play has remained consistent throughout his career but Davis wasn’t awarded his first All-Pro selection or Pro Bowl appearance until the Panthers historic 2015 season.
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That year Davis also earned his first nomination to the Top 100, landing at No. 54 overall. Last season the Panthers captain fell back to No. 89 before rebounding in 2017, coming in at No. 73 this year.
Despite missing one game for a league suspension due to an illegal hit, Davis registered 76 tackles with two and one-half sacks. He also garnered one fumble recovery while serving as an integral part of the Panthers highly ranked defense.
Playing alongside linebackers Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson, Davis is expected to take on a reduced role during the 2018 season. His suspension allows Thompson an opportunity to prove he can be an answer for the immediate future of the position.
The third overall linebacker named to the NFL Top 100 list, Davis is likely not the last Panthers player to earn the honor. Stay tuned as the list continues to be announced in the coming weeks.