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NFL AM: Thomas Davis Plans To Play in Super Bowl With Plate in Arm

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A broken arm isn’t about to keep Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis from playing in his first Super Bowl.

Davis had surgery on Monday to insert a plate and a dozen screws in his arm after he fractured it during Sunday’s NFC Championship Game win over the Arizona Cardinals, but he pledged to play in the Super Bowl before the procedure and now that the healing process has begun, he’s double down on that vow.

“I’m excited about where I am right now,” the Panthers linebacker told the media on Thursday. “[My status] hasn’t changed, still looking forward to playing on Super Bowl Sunday. I want to go out there and play for my teammates because I know I can help this team.”

Davis, a 10-year veteran who was drafted two years after Carolina’s first and only Super Bowl appearance to date. Since then, he’s gained a reputation as a warrior in league circles because he’s no stranger to overcoming injury adversity. Over the course of his NFL career, Davis has suffered three separate ACL tears in his right knee.

But the last of those injuries occurred way back in September of 2011. Since then, he’s endured and returned to form as one of the league’s best linebackers. This season, he was recognized as an All-Pro for the very first time, after finishing with career highs interceptions and forced fumbles, with four each, as well as sacks with 5.5. He also finished second on the team in tackles, behind only fellow linebacker Luke Kuechly.

Davis and Kuechly represent the heart and soul of a Panthers defense that has dominated opposing teams this postseason. That’s something the veteran linebacker takes pride in and although playing in his first Super Bowl his important, playing for his teammates takes an even greater precedence.

“Even bigger than me having this opportunity, I want to go out and play for my team because I know I can help the team,” he said. “That’s what it’s all about.”

The team is still assessing options for how to best accommodate Davis’ injury for game action. The linebacker mentioned on Thursday that they have tossed around the idea of having him wear a splint or cast on the field, but currently he is wearing neither.

“There are some limitations,” the linebacker admitted Thursday. “I just had surgery on Monday, but at the same time it’s been getting better and better everyday, and that’s the goal, continue to get better all the way up until next Sunday.”

For now, Davis hasn’t been able to get out on the practice field with his teammates this week, in the lead up to Carolina’s departure for San Francisco and the hoopla that will surround the Super Bowl next week. But his mere presence at the team facility just days after having surgery on his arm has been a motivating factor for teammates.

“It shows his commitment to this team,” linebacker A.J. Klein said. “He’s going to do anything and everything in his power to play.”

Davis is still is currently listed as probable for Super Bowl 50 and will be evaluated repeatedly over the next week to ensure he can play, but when the lights go on at Levi’s Stadium next Sunday, Panthers coach Ron Rivera expects his defensive captain to be ready to play.

“I’m not doubting Thomas,” Rivera said. “Believe me, there is something about his conviction, the way he looks at things. He’s one of those young men that if at all possible, he’s playing.”

TRAVIS KELCE GETS A REALITY SHOW

Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce is on the market.

It was announced on Thursday that Kelce is set to star in a reality show on E! documenting his search for Bachelor-like search for love. The show, titled Catching Kelce, will be filmed this offseason and will see the tight end paired with 50 eligible women, one from each US state.

Much like the popular television show The Bachelor, Kelce will decide each week who goes home and who stays. But the network has also incorporated some other reality show elements into the mix, allowing the women to vote for and against each other to go on dates with Kelce.

“On top of being a well-respected athlete, Travis has a fun-loving, over-the-top personality that draws people to him,” said E! executive vice president Jeff Olde. “We are excited to give our viewers an up-close look at his search for love.”

Kelce has emerged as one of the NFL’s elite tight ends over the last two seasons in Kansas City. Last season, he topped his career marks in targets, receptions and receiving yards and tied his career-best in touchdowns with five. He’s also gained a reputation for his well-choreographed touchdown celebrations. But not much else is known about the former 3rd round pick, as he does not have the off the field reputation of peer Rob Gronkowski.

Of course this venture could be a sign that is about to change.

The show is set to be taped in March, as not to interfere with Kelce’s offseason training schedule, but it does not yet have a premiere date. It is likely to be held until near the start of next season, to capitalize on the popularity of the NFL at its peak. Because that matters.

SUPER BOWL GOLDEN TEAM ANNOUNCED

The NFL is going all out for the golden anniversary of the Super Bowl and on Thursday they revealed the latest step in honoring the glorious history of the league championship game, announcing the Super Bowl 50 Golden Team.

The team, chose by the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors, consists of 26 total players, 22 of whom are already enshrined in the Hall. Appropriately the six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers lead the way with eight members of the team.

The offense is led by quarterback Joe Montana, who is followed by running backs Franco Harris and Emmitt Smith, and flanked by wide receivers Jerry Rice and Lynn Swann. Tight end Jay Novacek rounds out the receiving corps. On the offensive line are tackles Art Shell and Forrest Gregg, guards Larry Allen and Gene Upshaw and center Mike Webster.

The defense is helmed by defensive ends Reggie White and Charles Haley as well as interior linemen Joe Green and Randy White. In the middle of the defense are linebackers Lawrence Taylor, Jack Lambert, Jack Ham and Ray Lewis. On the backend are cornerbacks Deion Sanders and Mel Blount, and safeties Ronnie Lott and Jake Scott.

The special teams unit consists of kicker Adam Vinatieri, punter Ray Guy and return man Desmond Howard. Vinatieri is the lone active player named to the Super Bowl Golden Team. Chuck Noll is honored as the head coach of the Golden Team.

“The Super Bowl 50 Golden Team is an amazing list of incredible individuals,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame Executive Vice President Joe Horrigan. “Each name conjures up memories of some of the sport’s greatest games showcased on its biggest platform, the Super Bowl stage. Unforgettable individual performances like Lynn Swann’s acrobatic catches in Super Bowl X or Joe Montana’s come-from-behind game winning drive in Super Bowl XXIII are forever etched in the collective memories of football fans and celebrated as some of the most inspiring moments in the history of the National Football League.”


About Devon Jeffreys

Devon Jeffreys