4 Panthers players who need to step up vs. the Bucs in Week 10

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Mike Davis
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Mike Davis /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Mike Davis /

CAROLINA PANTHERS. 28. 87. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. RB. MIKEDAVIS. player

Mike Davis – Carolina Panthers RB

Mike Davis is once again the bell cow for the Carolina Panthers after moving into the primary backup role in their narrow loss at the Kansas City Chiefs. Christian McCaffrey‘s long-awaited return came to an abrupt halt thanks to a shoulder injury that may not be as bad as first feared, but this doesn’t detract from what a blow it is not having their face of the franchise to depend on.

Davis needs to get back to the form we saw from the veteran during Carolina’s three-game winning run. This now seems like a distant memory and the longer they go without another win, the more questions will surface about just what direction the franchise is going in.

The former South Carolina standout is still averaging a respectable 4.2 yards-per-carry. But his level of influence diminished considerably in the few games prior to McCaffrey’s initial return.

This is a trend that needs to end this Sunday.

The Buccaneers are a formidable run defense that makes it difficult for anyone to gain notable yards. If Davis can make his way past an experienced 3-4 front, he’ll be met by the stud linebacker duo of Devin White and Lavonte David at the second level.

Not the easiest propositions, for sure.

Davis is probably playing for a new deal in Carolina. Having a productive backup is something the Panthers will need going forward as McCaffrey’s iron man image has dwindled due to turning out just three times this season. But whether No. 28 is the man for the job long-term remains to be seen.