Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers RB
The Carolina Panthers have a real gem on their hands in Mike Davis. Things looked bleak for the organization when Christian McCaffrey went to the reserve/injured list. But the primary backup has stepped up to fill the void in no uncertain terms.
This has been a pleasant surprise for the Panthers, to put it mildly. Davis looked like a prime candidate for release due to his $3 million in base salary. But a starring performance at training camp has been exceeded by an incredible contribution in a competitive environment.
Carolina hasn’t missed a beat in McCaffrey’s absence, which is the best compliment one can give Davis. The veteran has proven a valuable presence in the run or passing situations and he has undeniably carved out a role for himself even when the All-Pro is ready to return.
Davis was the key force behind a crucial fourth-quarter drive at the Falcons that iced the game when it looked like Atlanta might have a shot of gett back into it. They had no answer for his powerful running and this chewed up some vital clock.
The former South Carolina standout ended the contest with 89 rushing yards from 16 carries, in addition to bringing in nine of ten targets for 60 receiving yards and a score. Davis is more than exceeding expectations and it will be interesting to see how the Panthers utilize him when they get McCaffrey back to full health.