Panthers WLB Thomas Davis' torn ACL, which could keep him from playing in 2010, has created an opportunity for third-year LB Dan Connor. With Jon Beason moving from the middle to the weak side to fill in for Davis, Connor, a third-round pick in '08, has taken reps with the first-team defense at middle linebacker. He'll get the first crack at earning the starting job, but Carolina will consider Jamar Williams at that spot if Connor doesn't prove he's up to it. The Panthers are waiting to see how Davis, who has torn his right ACL twice in seven months, progresses before deciding about placing him on injured reserve. Word is, it would be surprising, though, if Davis suited up in 2010. Connor has never started in the NFL and backed up Na'il Diggs on the strong side for much of last season. Connor doesn't have great bulk, which is why he had been playing outside.
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