The news was expected, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting for the Carolina Panthers.
Thomas Davis moved to the active roster on Friday after serving a four-game, five-week suspension that included Carolina’s Week 4 bye.
The corresponding roster move sends linebacker Jared Norris to injured reserve. Norris missed the week of practice with turf toe, which will require surgery.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said Friday that he has a simple pre-game speech prepared for Davis, ahead of Sunday’s 1 p.m. matchup at Washington.
Additionally, tight end Greg Olsen will likely return on Sunday. Olsen re-fractured his right foot in Week 1 against Dallas, but elected not to have surgery and has been rehabilitating his foot since. He had a full workload in Thursday and Friday’s practices.
“Ran around really well, so we’re pretty excited about it,” Rivera said. “We’ll see how everything pans out tomorrow. ... He’s been really good. Today he had a good field surface to work on. He took a whole bunch of reps. He took more than normal. So we’ll see how he is definitely tomorrow morning, and then go from there.”
Olsen wasn’t on the injury report, although the Panthers’ public relations staff clarified that he should be marked as “questionable” for Sunday’s game.
Rivera added that if the “probable” category still existed, Olsen would qualify.
Ruled “out” for Sunday were linebacker Andre Smith (hamstring), Norris and receiver/return specialist Damiere Byrd (ankle).
Rookie D.J. Moore will handle the bulk of the punt return duties in Byrd’s absence, said Rivera.