Posted by Will Brinson
Cam Newton is the guy for the Panthers throwing for insane yardage and drawing all the headlines these days. He's going to have to keep doing that, too, as an already bad Panthers defense is getting worse, and quickly. Just last week, Carolina lost All-Pro linebacker Jon Beason for the year with a torn Achilles. This time, it's Thomas Davis' turn.
The linebacker announced on Twitter (via Brian McIntyre) that he's out for the season with a torn ACL ... for the third-straight season.
"I would like 2 take the time and thank every1 that has supported me over my career," Davis tweeted. "Unfortunately, I have re torn my acl. Thx 4 da prayers!!"
This is a huge blow for the Panthers, of course, and a shame, because Davis appeared to have reclaimed the explosiveness that he flashed in previous years (particularly when he hawked Aaron Rodgers down from behind on Sunday).
But now he's done for the year and it's a particularly awkward injury because the Panthers inexplicably gave Davis a $7 million signing bonus when they inexplicably offered him a five-year contract as he came off his second-straight shortened year thanks to a torn ACL. (In fairness, just one of the years was guaranteed, but Davis was under team control for 2011 and barring an absolute explosion this year, probably wasn't going anywhere else.)
Davis is a great player when healthy, but there's just no reason to believe he can stay on the field after three consecutive seasons of bowing out early with a serious knee injury.
In terms of how this effects the Panthers right now, it's pretty devastating -- James Anderson is a sneaky stud at linebacker and Dan Connor's good at stopping the run, but one of the best linebacking corps in the NFL is suddenly one of the thinnest.
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