Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Timing is awful for Davis, Panthers

Dan Morgan had his concussions. Now Thomas Davis has his right knee.

Thomas Davis’s injury could hardly have come at a worse time, both for the Carolina Panthers’ sake and financially for Davis. I bet this injury will cost him at least $5-10 million on his bottom line – the guaranteed money he will get on his next contract, whenever that comes.

Davis confirmed Wednesday that he had a torn anterior cruciate ligament – his second ACL tear in seven months, and in the same knee he injured last November. This ACL will likely keep him out for the season – the rehab for an ACL generally takes 6-9 months and sometimes longer.

The strength of the Panthers’ 2010 defense was supposed to be Davis and middle linebacker Jon Beason, who as a pair may form the fastest linebacker tandem in the NFL. At their best, they fly from sideline to sideline like raptors, making one eye-popping play after another. Without Julius Peppers causing (occasional) havoc as a pass rusher, they were going to be even more important in 2010.

And now… this. Davis had run a 4.47 40-yard dash – close to his best – only recently. He was tickled with the rehab from his first ACL. But he tore this one without being touched, while back-pedaling, just like the first time. And to have two ACL tears – that doesn’t mean you can’t play pro football, certainly, but it does mean you’ll be viewed as damaged goods. I hope this isn't the beginning of the end for Davis, 27, like the concussions turned out to be for Morgan.

I thought Davis was playing at a Pro Bowl level last November. But he blew out the ACL Nov.8 at New Orleans (he missed nine of 16 games overall in 2009 -- 8 due to the knee, 1 due to a hamstring injury), and now here comes another ACL. He’ll still make $3.268 million this season and he’ll still be an unrestricted free agent after the 2010 season, but now his market value will be far lower.

I feel really bad for Davis. I hate when guys who respect the game get hurt.

I remember watching Davis once in practice when Beason had to run extra sprints for a minor transgression. Davis, just to be a good teammate, ran right alongside him, and it was marvelous to watch – two of the Panthers’ best athletes flying along like 240-pound Usain Bolts.

When Davis was the Panthers’ No.1 draft pick in 2005, I still remember what he said his goal as a defensive player was: “Get to the ball with bad intentions.”

It's an admirable philosophy for a heck of a linebacker – and one Davis is going to have to wait a very long time to act upon again.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

His second torn ACL in two years?! More like 8 months dude.

Anonymous said...

Since it's the same knee, it might be more accurate to say that the replacement ligament failed, rather than saying he's torn two ACLs.

Scott, please research and let us know if Davis had the ligament replaced with one of his own tendons or if he received an ACL from a cadaver.

Curtis said...

Well Scott...at least I can say we are commenting on the Panthers again. But unfortunately it feels very familiar to last year (talking about a season ending injury that we knew was going to hurt).

Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Really too bad. I hope the team seriously considers putting Connor at MLB and sliding Beason into his spot - it seems too important of a role to relegate to anyone else in Meeks' system. I think Connor at MLB/Beason at WLB would be better than any Beason/WLB-substitute we have there...let Williams/Anderson vie for that 3rd LB position

Scott said...

I agree it's a shame that it happened, and it really hurts to see a class act and rare athlete work so hard to get back only to get hurt again.

Call me crazy, but if it had to happen, it's a very good thing that it happened during OTA's and not late in camp or early in the season.

Anonymous said...

This makes me feel sick to my stomach. When someone who is as good a player as he is a person has to deal with these things, while guys with questionable character (fill in various NFL names) roll on, it's gut-wrenching.

Anonymous said...

This makes me feel sick to my stomach. When someone who is as good a player as he is a person has to deal with these things, while guys with questionable character (fill in various NFL names) roll on, it's gut-wrenching.

Anonymous said...

The Panthers are going to suck even worse than last year. Just another sub-mediocre team with overpaid blowhards yacking off on sports radio or tv clips. Davis wasnt that great either. No big loss.

No superstars. No reason to get excited. The aging QB was run off for newbies. Peppers gone although he was so-so. You still have shorty at WR who sucked last yr but JD got the blame. Ok. So the kittens are participants in the NFL even if they go 0-16, a real possibility.

Ultimately JR may end up moving the team to LA as speculated a long time and unlike the NBA team who are tied to the taxpyaer owned arena, can leave whenever they like since they own the stadium leaving PSL owners holding the bag.

This is remote but anything can happen in pro sports. One 0-16 season could wipe out the NFL. Never take anything for granted espec since Los Angeles is begging for a team and has a 25 million met population.

Anonymous said...

Good Kid really hate it for him, Now you have to work with your business mind and not your Heart, You really can't give him Beason Type Money when its time to deal.....

Anonymous said...

Yeah you can blame this on poor traing staff and doctors. Thats what you get when you spare expense on those guys. He should have never been out there in the first place!!! Geez! Panthers Blow!!! This is the training staffs fault and coaches!!! They suck!!!! Period!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow- no mention of Jake Delhomme in the column. I'm shocked!

Curtis said...

Anon @ 8:36...it's one thing to come on here and talk about reasons why you think a team won't be good. It's another to do on a post about a good guy (look up what TD does outside of football) and try and "talk smack" when he suffers a serious injury. While we all have teams we hate (read Dallas Cowboys), no REAL sports fan want to see a player get hurt.

Of course, the same jerk that posts stupid comments about a team going 0 - 16 as a "real possibility" in June is always going to be the same moron that takes delight in someone getting hurt. Take heed to the old saying - better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Come back after you grow up (and grow a pair) and talk some real football. Moron.

panfan1 said...

Anon@8:36 AM.

If LA is such a great city for relocation why did they lose a team in the first place.Surely their is enough $$bling in that city to have a big new stadium & 2 franchises but couldn't even hold onto one more or less.Panthers aren't going any where!Can I say 3captials letters!

P S L!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like somebodys a gay twink. We know these patseys. They played sports and loved hanging around locker rooms watching men take showers and walk around. Same for the military they want to drop dont ask dont tell. Sicko. No wonder he wants someone to grow a pair. Thats his fantazy.

Curtis said...

I'm not sure who that rambling response @ 4:16 was directed at exactly...but, huh?

Kenneth said...

This is a huge injury. I was worried about our run defense even with him. Now we have an interior d-line that will suck. We won't have the pursuit speed of Julius Peppers and Thomas Davis. No Nail Diggs as a solid second option. No Chris Harris who sucked in coverage, but was one of the best safeties in the league coming up for run support. And a group of unproven, slow linebackers except for Beason. If we can't stop the run we're toast.