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Panthers LB Thomas Davis ‘very open’ to possibility of playing past 2018

Thomas Davis, Panthers

Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis’ potential retirement season was spoiled by his four-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance. As a result, it seems Davis has become a bit more open-minded about his playing future beyond the 2018 NFL season.

The 13-year veteran acknowledged early in the offseason that this year could be his last. However, his performance in practice thus far has made him think twice about hanging up his cleats, according to Max Henson of the team’s official website:

“It’s important for me to come out each and every day and show that I’m still capable of playing,” Davis said. “When you look at the body of work over the OTA and minicamp process, I think that I’ve proven without a doubt that I can still play this game.

“I’m still out here running around and moving just as fast as any of our young guys. That’s kind of how I judge myself.”

Davis’ comments should hardly come as any surprise. Now that a new season has drawn near, it appears his competitive juices have started flowing. That said, it is easy to see why he is much more optimistic about his playing future than he was at the conclusion of the 2017 campaign. Furthermore, the notion of getting a late start on his final year in the league may be too much for him to bear.

Fortunately, Davis has proven that he is still one of the best linebackers in the league. Like a fine wine, his career has gotten better with age after three straight trips to the Pro Bowl. However, his future in Carolina will likely be dictated by his performance this season.