CHARLOTTE – No matter how many seasons you've got under your belt, it's impossible to be in top form without regular game action.
Veteran linebacker Thomas Davis has played in two games since serving his four-game suspension to start the season. He's recorded 11 tackles, with his first tackle for loss and quarterback hit coming last week against the Eagles.
When asked how close he is to playing the way he's capable of, the three-time Pro Bowler didn't sugarcoat it.
"I've got a long way to go," Davis said. "I've been able to contribute somewhat to the defense, but I know I still have a lot (more) that I can offer."
Head coach Ron Rivera was kinder in his assessment of Davis' play. But he admitted TD isn't at full force just yet.
"With TD, it's everyone getting used to him being back out there and him getting used to being back out there as well," Rivera said. "He moved around very well, I thought he played extremely well. He played very fast and made things happen, but he's not quite where he has been in the past at this point in the season.
"He's probably another week or two away."
Davis said "reading and reacting" is an element of his game that will continue to improve with more reps. Once that happens, he believes he'll be back at the level he's accustomed to.
Perhaps a home game will have Davis truly feeling like himself again.
This Sunday against Baltimore will be his first chance to play in front of the home crowd this season.
"I haven't been gone that long. I've been doing this for 14 years now," Davis said. "But being able to do it for the first time officially (in 2018) is definitely going to feel good."
View photos of players as they walk out to week 8 practice on Thursday.