Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers RB
Mike Davis has been one of the real surprises of the NFL season, and his display at the Falcons laid further claim to this. Although the Carolina Panthers appeared confident that the running back could step in and fill the void left by Christian McCaffrey, not even they would have predicted the level of impact he has made from a starting role.
This has enabled the Panthers to continue using the same sort of playbook, thanks in no small part to Davis’ ability to assist in passing situations. He caught nine balls on Sunday to make it 30 for the season so far from just 33 targets, which represents truly outstanding production.
How much time on the field Davis will see once McCaffrey is ready to return remains to be seen. It would be incredibly harsh and unwise in equal measure to cast him out completely and this could be the player Carolina has been looking for in their bid to take some of the heat off their star performer.
Having someone like Davis around is sure to decrease the chances of McCaffrey falling victim to another long-term injury. And the Panthers will need him as healthy as possible after giving their former first-round pick a four-year, $64 million deal with a $21 million signing bonus and $38 million guaranteed this offseason.
This is a win-win for that Panthers, whichever way you care to look at it, and is further testament to the role Davis has fought hard to secure in Carolina.