With All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey out with a high ankle sprain, Mike Davis, an Atlanta native and former standout at Stephenson High, has stepped up to carry the Panthers' rushing attack.
“Mike has done a tremendous job,” Carolina coach Matt Rhule said. “He’s run the football well.”
The Panthers will face the Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Davis, 27, was a fourth-round pick (126th) of San Francisco in 2015. He played with Seattle from 2017-18 and was with Chicago and Carolina in 2019. He has played in 51 NFL games and made 13 starts.
Davis' best season came in 2018, when he rushed 112 times for 514 yards (4.6 per carry) and four touchdowns for the Seahawks.
Davis, 5-foot-9 and 221 pounds, has rushed 30 times for 130 yards (4.4 per carry) and a touchdown for the Panthers. He’s caught 21 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.
“I think we are figuring out the runs that he likes,” Rhule said. “He’s caught the ball well out of the backfield. He’s picked up blitzes. I’ve been pleased with his progress and his development.”
Davis rushed 16 times for 84 yards and a touchdown in Carolina’s surprising 31-21 win over Arizona last week.
“Mike has really shown that he’s capable of some big plays,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said. “He was able to bounce outside and get on the edge.”
The Falcons' run defense will be tested by Davis.
“He’s always been somebody that we have a lot of regard and respect for,” Quinn said. “He’s definitely showed it with some of the big plays over the last couple of weeks.”
Falcons' next four games
Panthers at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11
Falcons at Vikings at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18
Lions at Falcons at 1 p.m. Sunday Oct. 25
Falcons at Panthers at 8:20 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29
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