Panthers notebook: Veterans Davis, Allen getting shot at Super Bowl glory


A pair of injured Carolina Panthers veterans will finally get their shot at a championship and they will even get to start.

Coach Ron Rivera on Friday announced that linebacker Thomas Davis and defensive end Jared Allen will start Sunday's Super Bowl 50 showdown against the Denver Broncos.

"Yes, yes I do [expect Davis to start] based on everything I'm seeing from him right now and what the doctors have talked about - they talk about him every day and we go over everything he's done and what they're seeing. That's been a huge plus." Rivera said Friday, via

"He actually took a shot in the arm yesterday and said 'I'm fine. That felt pretty good.'"

Davis broke his right forearm in the NFC Championship game and underwent surgery the next day to have a plate and about a dozen screws inserted into his arm.

Despite the recent procedure, he was a full participant in practice all week and wore a protective device to keep his arm secure.

Meanwhile, Allen missed the NFC title game with a broken foot suffered in the divisional round against the Seattle Seahawks.

He was limited in practice on Wednesday but practiced fully on Thursday and Friday.

Injury report: All three players listed on the team's injury report (Davis, Allen and Mike Tolbert) were full participants in Friday's practice.

Heads Carolina, tails California: Davis, the most tenured Panther, will also make the call for the team during Sunday's coin toss. The 11-year veteran was hush about the call and did not specify if he would choose heads or tails.

"I don't know. We'll see," Davis said, via the Charlotte Observer. "It's all about how I feel that day when I wake up and go on the field and walking out there. It's never one of those things where it's, 'Oh I'm just going to call tails.' It just kind of happens."

Carolina cooking: Despite being more than 2,600 miles from Charlotte, the Panthers kept their season-long tradition alive and indulged in deep fried southern goodness for lunch. Bojangles, a Southeastern fast food chain, even included an extra few shakers of its sensational seasoning.

Pounding presence: The Panthers' iconic Keep Pounding drum could make the trip across the country for the team's appearance in Super Bowl 50.

"There's a rumour the Keep Pounding drum is heading west," assistant defensive line coach Sam Mills III said, via the team's website. "We've been joking about that, but I didn't even think it was a possibility."

Getting pumped: During Thursday's episode of The Late Show, Broncos and Panthers players talked about what gets them pumped up on a segment with Stephen Colbert.

"I put on a tiny crown and I say 'Who's the prince of football? Me,'" quarterback Cam Newton exclaimed.

As for tight end Greg Olsen, he turns to a strong female presence in his house for motivation.

"I tell my cat that the game is already over and we won," Olsen said. "And then I have to go out and win because I can never lie to her."

Panther pride: Pro golfer Harold Varner sported a Panthers jersey in Cardinals country on Friday during the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He then proceeded to dab his way to the green on the 16th hole.