Just two weeks ago, former UGA and current Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis had suffered a broken forearm that to many looked like a season-ending injury.
However, the leader of the Panthers defense will be on the field Sunday for Super Bowl 50 despite the injury, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport.
No one was more surprised about Davis’ quick recovery than Panthers head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion, who thought Davis’ season was over when he looked at him on the field in the NFC title game.
But Davis had surgery, which required inserting a six-inch plate into his arm, and he’ll be on the field, as healthy as can be expected two weeks removed from sustaining the injury.
“First off, to be able to do what he’s doing takes a special guy,” Vermillion told Rapoport. “Not everyone can do what he’s doing. He’s not going to go through what he’s gone through and not get this opportunity.”
Of course, Davis is no stranger to injuries. The former Bulldogs standout has suffered three ACL injuries during his football career, and he continues to come back and lead a defense that has helped the Panthers to a Super Bowl berth.
The most amazing part of Davis’ comeback might be how confident the Panthers training staff is about how he’ll play on Sunday.
“He’s got great grip strength,” Vermillion told Rapoport. “He’s got great grip strength, he can use his wrist, he can use his elbow, those are some of the challenges he’s not going to have, which is real important. The biggest challenge for him right now is, what’s it going to feel like to take a blow on it. What’s it going to feel like to wrap up and pull somebody towards him? Those are the biggest challenges. The nice thing is, wrist motion is going to be there, elbow motion is going to be there, and his grip is there.”
Playing in the Super Bowl is everybody’s dream, and Davis isn’t going to miss his opportunity — even if he broke his arm in the last game he played.