August 6, 2018 / 10:00 PM / 10 months ago

Panthers LB Davis reconsidering retirement after season

FILE PHOTO: Jul 26, 2018; Spartanburg, SC, USA; Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis (58) laughs with linebacker Luke Kuechly (59) during training camp held at Wofford College. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

A lot has happened for Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis since the 2017 season ended. Enough, in fact, that the 13-year veteran is now walking back his retirement talk and considering a return in 2019.

Speaking with reporters after camp on Monday afternoon in Spartanburg, S.C., Davis said of the 2019 season, “If the team is willing to have me back, I’ll be back.”

“I look at the way things transpired this offseason and think back to, really, my legacy and the things that I’ve been able to do as a football player,” Davis continued. “I don’t want to leave on a sour note. You never want to walk away from the game knowing that you served a four-game suspension. That’s my mindset right now.”

The 35-year-old was suspended four games in early April after testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug. At the time, Davis called it, “by far one of the saddest days of my NFL career.’’

According to reports from camp, Davis has been among the most energetic players on the team. He admits that the suspension, as well as knowing he is nearing the end of his career, are playing roles in his decision to reconsider retirement.

“When you factor in that, and the fact that I may not ever get another training camp — I embrace it every day,” Davis told reporters. “Talk trash to Cam at a high level daily. Just competing and having fun with my teammates — that’s what training camp is all about.”

Davis has played in 164 games in his career, starting 146. He has 28 sacks, 13 interceptions and 18 forced fumbles. His play certainly hasn’t slipped with age — his three Pro Bowl selections have come in each of the last three seasons.

In 2015, he was a first-team All-Pro.

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