The Carolina Panthers suffered a huge injury loss in the NFC Championship game when linebacker Thomas Davis suffered a broken forearm. Davis was adamant that he would play in Super Bowl 50 despite the injury and even got screws and a plate in place to ensure that he could play. If there was any doubt remaining about Davis's health, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera answered them.
"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," said Rivera, via NFL.com. "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. He actually took a shot in the arm yesterday and said 'I'm fine. That felt pretty good.'"
Getting Davis back is huge for the Panthers. He is the heart and soul of their defense. The linebacker plays a significant role in what they do and is a huge part of their stout run defense. Even if he can't play as effectively as he could with a non-broken arm, Davis's mere presence on the field should give the Panthers a huge lift.
Carolina is trying to win the first Super Bowl in its history. The Panthers have a history of getting close, including a Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots back in 2003. Carolina also reached the NFC Championship Game in both 1996 and 2005, falling to the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, respectively.
This year, Carolina is anchored by a great defense and the NFL's likely MVP in Cam Newton, who accounted for 73 percent of his team's offensive yardage and 45 touchdowns.
Ranking the last 10 Super Bowls
Ranking the last 10 Super Bowls
Thomas Davis expected to start in Super Bowl 50
10. Super Bowl XLVIII: Seattle defeats Denver 43-8
Regardless of who you were pulling for in this one (unless you're a Seahawks fan) this was indisputably the worst Super Bowl in recent memory. From the opening snap, it was an all-out onslaught by Seattle. Hopefully for Peyton Manning, this year's game goes a little differently.
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
9. Super Bowl XLI: Indianapolis defeats Chicago 29-17
Otherwise known as the time Rex Grossman played in a Super Bowl, 2007's big game -- aside from acting as Peyton Manning's lone championship -- was mostly forgettable. The Bears logged just three points over the final three quarters, and Indy, favored by seven, covered the spread.
(Photo by Gary W. Green/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
8. Super Bowl XLI: Pittsburgh defeats Seattle 21-10
In Jerome Bettis' final NFL game, he went out a champion. Ben Roethlisberger, in just his second season, earned his first Super Bowl ring, in a game that was relatively low-scoring -- but did include Antwaan Randle El's heroic touchdown pass to Hines Ward.
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
7. Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay defeats Pittsburgh 31-25
Aaron Rodgers' only championship to date came against a 12-4 Steelers team. He went for 304 yards and threw three touchdowns without getting intercepted, while Jordy Nelson racked up 140 yards on nine catches.
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
6. Super Bowl XLIV: New Orleans defeats Indianapolis 31-17
In the game that brought a championship to New Orleans after the city endured so much heartbreak years earlier, the Saints knocked off Peyton Manning's Colts. Sean Peyton's daring onside kick after halftime rests as one of the boldest playcalls in Super Bowl history.
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
5. Super Bowl XLVI: NY Giants defeat New England 21-17
It wasn't quite as exhilarating as the previous time New York knocked off the Patriots, but an unexpected, come-from-behind victory against a favored New England team provided football fans with a great product on Super Bowl Sunday, 2012.
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
4. Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore defeats San Francisco 34-31
Super Bowl MVP, Joe Flacco. The dream became a reality in February 2013, when Baltimore knocked off Colin Kaepernick's 49ers in the infamous blackout Super Bowl. Ray Lewis went out a champion in his final NFL game.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum, FIle)
3. Super Bowl XLIII: Pittsburgh defeats Arizona 27-23
This one featured James Harrison's classic 99-yard fumble recovery, Santonio Holmes' epic touchdown grab and an ill-fated, yet still exciting, Cardinals rally in the final quarter.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
2. Super Bowl XLII: NY Giants defeat New England 17-14
The day David Tyree's name went down in Giants history -- and Super Bowl history -- forever. New York spoiled the Patriots' attempt at an undefeated, 19-0 season -- something nobody has come close to completing since.
(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel/FILE)
1. Super Bowl XLIX: New England defeats Seattle 28-24
The most thrilling Super Bowl of the last decade is also the most recent. Malcolm Butler's last-second interception to fend off the Seahawks' attempt at a go-ahead score will forever live in Patriots lore, as Tom Brady clinched his fourth championship.