Even though Panthers LB Thomas Davis just suffered a second torn ACL in less than a year, the Panthers aren't prepared to place him on injured reserve any time soon.
Sources with knowledge of the situation said that at least some small degree of hope for a return this year was expressed upon the second opinion by Dr. James Andrews. Such a return would be highly unlikely, and isn't really expected.
Frankly, there's no use not holding out hope, no matter how small. If he could get back in six months, it's worth placing him on the active-physically unable to perform list, which would make him roster-exempt for up to the first nine weeks of the season.
If he's not well then, then it wouldn't cost them anything in terms of roster spots or money (they were on the hook for his $3.268 million contract when he signed his injury protection letter in March).
Panthers GM Marty Hurney expressed extreme disappointment about the injury, but said it occurred when Davis was doing the same drills he was doing two weeks ago.
"It's hard, because he's done everything you could have asked, everything possible to get back," Hurney said. "It's hard because it means so much to him."
— Darin Gantt