Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers RB
It is a case of next man up for the Carolina Panthers following Christian McCaffrey’s injury, which means Mike Davis is set to take over the No. 1 running back role in the short-term.
The veteran managed to work his way up the depth chart with an outstanding performance at training camp that really caught the eye of Carolina’s coaching staff. There were some who questioned whether his $3 million in base salary this season would be sacrificed. But the Panthers are probably glad they kept him around in light of recent events.
Davis came into the game late on when McCaffrey went to the sidelines at the Buccaneers and did perform well when called up. He only had one carry for one yard. But it was his ability to contribute in the passing game that leaves plenty of reasons to be encouraged.
The former South Carolina standout hauled in all eight of his targets for 74 receiving yards, with most of this production coming in the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay was keen to focus on the Panthers’ wide receiver threats down the field to keep them out of the end zone. And this left plenty of open space for the running back to do some damage underneath.
He is also the most experienced back on the roster by a considerable margin when it comes to notable game time. Davis boasts career stats of 248 carries, 848 rushing yards, five touchdowns, 74 receptions, 504 receiving yards, and 68 combined first downs. His ability to be a dual-threat out of the backfield will ensure Carolina’s scheme will not need to change a considerable amount and this is another thing working to the player’s advantage.