Less than 10 hours after the Panthers clinched a trip to Super Bowl 50, linebacker Thomas Davis was getting surgery to repair his broken right arm so he could play with his team in Santa Clara, Calif.
The 11-year veteran had surgery Monday morning to his arm after breaking it in the second quarter of Sunday night's 49-15 win against Arizona in the NFC Championship Game. Panthers coach Ron Rivera said if all goes well, Davis should be able to play against Denver.
"Doctors feel real comfortable about it," said Rivera, joking that he was getting his information from Davis' wife, Kelly. "And we'll see once he gets back here tomorrow and trainers get a chance to look at him. We'll see how he is Wednesday, Thursday and Friday."
Having the surgery Monday morning will maximize Davis' chances of playing in Super Bowl 50. Davis has never played in a Super Bowl.
The injury occurred when Davis attempted to tackle Arizona tight end Darren Fells. Davis said after the game he knew something was wrong immediately, and he did not play the rest of the game.
Davis is believed to be the first professional football player to return from three ACL reconstructive surgeries. He made the Pro Bowl for the first time this season.
"I'll be back. I'll be ready to go. I can guarantee that," said Davis in such a way that it's difficult not to believe him. "I'm not missing the Super Bowl."
Countdown for Allen
Veteran defensive end Jared Allen has two weeks to prove he can play in his first Super Bowl, after missing the NFC title game because of a broken foot suffered in the divisional round victory over Seattle.
"I'm excited for the fact that he's got two weeks to get ready, and prove to me that he's ready to roll, which I believe he will, knowing him," Rivera said.
Allen, who played six of his 12 NFL seasons with the Vikings, didn't hide his displeasure with Rivera's decision Friday to have him sit out, but he said he respected the coach's decision.