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New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. Sunday, FOX

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Thomas Davis first active player chosen to bang ‘Keep Pounding’ drum

A week after being named the Carolina Panthers’ Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for a second straight year, linebacker Thomas Davis will bang the ‘Keep Pounding’ drum before the start of Sunday’s game.

Davis will become the first active player to have the honor, which he said was given to him by his teammates.

“It’s a huge honor to be the first active player selected to do it, it definitely means a lot to me and my family,” Davis said. “We’re excited about it.”

Davis was nominated for the Man of the Year award, which is named after Ron Rivera’s former Bears teammate. Davis has put together one of the best seasons of his career with 128 tackles and a career-high four sacks on the NFL’s No. 2 ranked defense.

His work in the community with the Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation was a big part in him being selected as one of the 32 nominees around the league.

“No one takes his position of influence more seriously than Thomas on the field or in the community,” Panthers founder Jerry Richardson said in a statement. “He is a leader who is unselfish with his time and energy to help those around him.”

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