Thomas Davis: 2018 will be my last season

Sergio Conner
January 13, 2018

Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis has played all 13 of his National Football League seasons with the franchise that drafted him in the first round back in 2005.

The linebacker turns 35 in March, and has battled back from three ACL tears.

After the Panthers lost to the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs last weekend, Davis said he expects to have a reduced role in 2018 as Shaq Thompson gets more time. "Shaq has earned the right". Over the 15 games he appeared in during the regular season, he recorded 76 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and recovered a fumble.

But he also admitted this week to playing with a rib injury for much of the season.

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ESPN analyst and former world number one Chris Evert said his experience and smooth style of play, which has left him relatively injury-free, set him apart from the field.

"For me, it was a no-brainer", Davis said. "Dealing with a bunch of injuries and not being able to go out there and perform like I know I'm capable of performing until the last couple of weeks of the season".

Davis, 34, was a first-round draft pick by Carolina in 2005 and has been a staple of the Panthers' defense since. Sandwiched around that honour were All-Pro honours in 2013 and 2015.

A bit of a late bloomer, Davis did not make a Pro Bowl in any of his first 10 seasons but made back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2015 and 2016. He's seventh in team history with 13 career interceptions and eighth with 28 sacks.

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