Thomas Davis nominated for Walter Payton award

Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

A thrice torn ACL wasn't enough to keep Thomas Davis down.

The Carolina Panthers have announced that outside linebacker Thomas Davis is their nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. He will represent the Panthers as the epitome of the team's ideals, transcending on-field play to encompass charity work, community contributions, and volunteering.

Along with wife Kelly, the Davis's established the 'Defending Dreams Foundation' in 2011. The organization offers critical support to underprivileged children to help them become leaders of tomorrow. Tirelessly working for the community, TD has been a role model on and off the field. His recovery from three ACL tears is a testament to his work ethic, and steadfast drive.

Amassing 91 tackles, and two forced fumbles in 2012 -- Thomas Davis has transcended what most thought he could achieve on the gridiron post-injury. Along with Luke Kuechly, Davis has been vital in keeping the Panthers' defense afloat, and his tenacious tackling has stopped many big plays.

The Walter Payton award began being handed out in 1970. In its 42-year history no member of the Carolina Panthers has won the award. Davis will now go up against the other 31 team nominees, and hopefully the powers that be recognize that he's been the whole package in 2012.

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