4 biggest surprises of the Panthers’ season through Week 4

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jeremy Chinn
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Jeremy Chinn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Davis /

Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers RB

Mike Davis has been one of the real success stories for the Carolina Panthers this season. The veteran running back looked like a prime candidate for release prior to training camp due to the $3 million in base salary he was owed in 2020. But keeping him around is a gamble that has paid off in a big way so far.

Davis surged up to No. 2 on the depth chart after a sensational showing at camp. He was thrust into a prominent role in Week 2 when All-Pro Christian McCaffrey was forced to miss the first games of his professional career and he has thrived with the extra responsibility.

The Carolina Panthers haven’t missed a beat in McCaffrey’s forced absence, which is a testament to how well Davis has played. His powerful running between the tackles has been a notable highlight and the player has also come up with some nice plays in the passing game.

This high standard of performance has ensured a role for Davis even when McCaffrey returns to the field. If the current situation has taught us anything, it’s that the Panthers need to take some off the load off their best player and ensure he is fit and firing on all cylinders for the duration of his new four-year contract extension.

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Davis has accumulated 130 rushing yards and one touchdown from 30 carries, in addition to 21 receptions from 23 targets for 146 receiving yards and a score to further enhance his overall influence.