The Panthers today lost perhaps their most productive defensive player when tests showed weakside linebacker Thomas Davis has a torn ACL in his right knee. Davis’ season-ending injury came without getting hit in Sunday’s loss to New Orleans. He was backpedaling when stopped to plant and his knee buckled. He crumpled to the turf as Drew Brees threw a 17-yard pass to Pierre Thomas in the fourth quarter.
A serious injury was immediately feared, and it derails the speedy Davis’ most successful season in another blow for injury-plagued Carolina (3-5).
“He’s played very well. I feel bad for the young man because he’s put a lot into it,” coach John Fox said before the team revealed the extent of the injury. “He was playing at a high level. It’s unfortunate, and I feel bad for him and his family.”
Davis, a 2005 first-round pick from Georgia in his fourth season with the Panthers, ranks second on the team behind fellow linebacker Jon Beason with 69 tackles. He also had two sacks and an interception and his teammates had begun talking about him as a Pro Bowl selection.