Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis had surgery on his right forearm less than two weeks before he played in the team’s Super Bowl loss to the Broncos. Davis, not only played, but he started and tallied seven tackles—good for second on the team—despite playing with a cast over his arm protecting the plate and 11 screws that were inserted in his arm.
After the loss he posted a picture of the sown-up arm on Facebook and Instagram.
Of course the Panthers defense wasn’t to blame for the loss. Thomas Davis, Luke Kuechly, and company held Peyton Manning’s offense to just 194 total yards. Unfortunately, Denver’s defense forced a pair of critical turnovers that led to a couple of touchdowns that were the difference in the game.
Maybe if Davis hadn’t played, the margin would have been worse.
It’s not the first time an NFL player went above and beyond for his team in the Super Bowl.
Eleven years ago, then-Eagles receiver Terrell Owens went against the advice of some in the medical community and played in the Super Bowl despite a fractured right fibula and torn lower leg ligament.
Owens suffered the injury on December 19, 2004 in a game against the Dallas Cowboys when he was tackled from behind by Cowboys safety Roy Williams. Owens’ ankle was severely twisted and the force of it ripped his interosseous ligament and fractured his fibula about four inches below his knee, according to Eagles doctors.
Surgeons then put a pair of metal screws through his tibia and fibula to stabilize them so the body could repair itself—a process that would normally take months. But Owens was back seven weeks later to help Philadelphia win the Super Bowl. He did all he could too catching nine passes for 122 yards in the Eagles 24–21 loss to the Patriots.