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Mike Davis hits emotional milestone in win

Mike Davis handoff

CHARLOTTE – Coming into this season, Mike Davis didn't know what to expect.

And after hitting a personal milestone in Sunday's win over Washington, the Panthers' Plan B at running back couldn't help but get a little emotional.

Davis topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage in the win, a goal he said he wasn't sure should have been a goal at all.

"It's crazy because before the season, my fiancée, she always says to write down my goal before the season," Davis said. "One of mine was one-K yards, and it's crazy because I asked her, 'Do you think this is doable? Do you think this is realistic?' And she was like, 'Yeah, I think it's realistic.'

"But at the time in the back of my head, I'm just like, 'There is no way.' As the season was going and I saw that I was getting close, I can tell you that I wanted it really bad. It's an amazing feeling. I promise you, I can't believe it happened. I'm blessed. I'm thankful for everything."

Of course, going into the season as Christian McCaffrey's backup, there was no way to imagine Davis would get as many snaps as he did. But with a collection of injuries limiting the star running back to parts of three games, Davis has had to carry a larger load.

Sunday, wide receiver Curtis Samuel was actually the Panthers' leading rusher, thanks to his 45-yard burst on one play.

But Davis tacked on 14 carries for 28 yards, giving him 642 rushing yards for the season. Along with 59 receptions for 373 yards, he continues to push his career-best numbers in yards from scrimmage.

His previous high for a season was 728 for the Seahawks in 2018, when he ran for 514 and added 214 receiving yards.

It was also a poignant moment for Davis, as he started to well up postgame when asked what it meant.

He said his thoughts turned back to his father, who died in September 2019 of prostate cancer.

"I really wish that he could really see everything that I'm out here doing," Davis said. "I'm trying not to tear up. Man, my dad had such a big impact on my life, and I know he'd be so happy to see me get one-K yards, man. I just know he'd be really happy right now. He'd be jumping for joy. He'd be having fun. I just know he'd be happy for me."

The way Davis has stepped up this season, plenty of people have been.

View game action photos of Carolina's Week 16 game at Washington.

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