Nine years ago, Thomas Davis got a new jersey number with the Panthers. This season he’ll have a new name on the back.
Davis, an 11-year veteran, will wear Davis Sr. on the back of his jersey for the 2015 season at the request of his son, Thomas Davis Jr.
“It really boils down to my son playing football now. He’s been bugging me about it,” said Davis, who wore No. 47 in his rookie season before switching to 58. “He has Davis Jr. on the back of his jersey and once he started playing he started to question why I don’t have senior on the back of mine. I went to (head equipment manager) Jackie (Miles) and asked him if it was something that could be done and Jackie being the guy that he is, he got it done for me.”
Davis Jr., 7, is playing mighty-mite tackle football this year. Davis said his son isn’t playing just one position but “all over the place,” just like his safety-turned-linebacker father.
Davis, who won the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award in February, had one of his busiest offseasons of his career. Not only was he healthy – he’s suffered three ACL tears in his career – but he was awarded the key to Charlotte, went on Family Feud, worked with foundation and went on a European vacation with his family.
“The whole time really never losing sight of the task at hand,” Davis said. “Understanding that we had a season coming up so I stayed focused, made sure I got my workout in between all the stuff you saw online. It was really good. I really had a good offseason – one that I’ll never forget.”
After an exciting offseason, Davis is back in Spartanburg where he said he most looks forward to matching up against Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen.
He’s bearing a new nameplate. Does that mean there will have to be a new shipment of No. 58 jerseys for purchase before the start of the season?
“You don’t really see Davis jerseys in stores right now,” Davis said with a laugh. “I don’t think that’s going to make any difference. We’ll see.”