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Panthers RB never gave up on being an NFL starter

Mike Davis will fill in for the injured Christian McCaffrey
Credit: AP
Carolina Panthers running back Mike Davis carries the football during NFL football training camp practice Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020 in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers running back Mike Davis says he is prepared and will play "angry" on Sunday.

The former South Carolina Gamecock has a pretty pleasant disposition, but will bring an intensity to his first start with the Panthers on Sunday at the Chargers.

"Basically just be me, don't try to be someone else," said Davis. "Play how I've been playing and prepare how I've been preparing."

Davis has spent six seasons in the NFL staying ready for an opportunity.

The former fourth-round pick played only 20 games in his first three seasons with San Francisco and Seattle.

"It was real depressing," said Davis. "There were times where I was like, 'I don't want to do this no more."

Opportunity struck in 2018 when Davis ran the ball 112 times for 514 yards, while also catching 34 passes for 214 yards. 

Now he'll fill in for at least three weeks for star Christian McCaffrey, placed on three-week injured reserve with a high ankle sprain.

"What stands out most with this journey is I never gave up," Davis said. "It could have been so easy for me to give in when I was in Seattle being on the practice squad. But I never quit."

Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule named Davis the No. 2 back coming out of training camp, and said the staff planned to utilize him for about 10 plays heading in to the Tampa Bay game, before McCaffrey was injured.