CHARLOTTE -- No one around the Carolina Panthers expects linebacker Thomas Davis to miss the Super Bowl, so it wasn't a surprise Wednesday when Davis took his usual cart ride to practice. He didn't go through drills and went back inside after about 30 minutes, but that he was even out there said plenty.
"I think the young guys see veteran guys committed to trying to be out there and be part of this. I think that they learn and realize how important it is," head coach Ron Rivera said.
Davis, who had a plate placed in his arm Monday during surgery, was not wearing a cast when he walked through the locker room Wednesday afternoon. He'll have to use a splint or soft cast when he returns, an eventuality that isn't really a question of if.
"I think he's one of those young men that if at all possible, he's playing. So to me, it really is when he gets back on the practice field," Rivera said. "I know Thomas, and if he says he's going to do it, I believe he will."
--As he promised in the hours after he watched his teammates lock up the NFC Championship, Panthers defensive end Jared Allen continues to fight his way back onto the field.
Allen was a full participant Wednesday in the Panthers' first practice ahead of the Super Bowl and less than two weeks after he broke a bone in his foot.
"My foot feels great. Thank God for that and our great training staff," Allen said.
"Honestly, I don't feel it at all. It's easier to run than it is to walk. I just go out there and play. No limitations. So I'm just focused on a normal week."
When head coach Ron Rivera told Allen he wouldn't face the Cardinals, the 12-year veteran wasn't pleased with the decision. But it would be a surprise if Allen isn't on the field come Super Bowl Sunday.
"He's one of those guys that you probably don't doubt just because of who he is," said Rivera.
Notes: Running back Jonathan Stewart did not practice Wednesday after tweaking an ankle injury against the Cardinals. He won't miss the Super Bowl. ... Running back Fozzy Whittaker had his ankle rolled up on in the NFC Championship. He did not practice Wednesday, but he should be ready to face the Broncos. ... Fullback Mike Tolbert tweaked his knee Sunday and didn't practice Wednesday, but afterward, he said, "I'll be fine."