The Carolina Panthers rallied to the defense of Teddy Bridgewater after the quarterback was injured in the third quarter — courtesy of a late hit by Atlanta Falcons defensive end Charles Harris. While Harris was ejected from the game as a result of the hit, Panthers running back Mike Davis wasn’t finished discussing how the hit knocked out his quarterback — and his team’s chances of winning the game. He didn’t mince his words.
“Yeah, I thought it was a cheap shot,” Davis said, via ESPN’s David Newton. “It was late, hit him on the neck. You hate to see that.”
Bridgewater left the game with soreness in his neck and shoulder area and missed a few plays on Carolina’s next possession to get his neck loosened up as P.J. Walker entered the game at quarterback. Walker completed just 1 of 4 passes for 3 yards before Bridgewater reentered the game and finished the contest. That was more than enough for Davis to have his back.
“I can’t speak for everybody, but something like that, a lot of guys would’ve been like, ‘I’m not going back in,'” Davis said, via the Charlotte Post. “He earned a lot of respect from me, and it makes me want to go out and play harder for him. That’s a quarterback I love to play for any day.”
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule didn’t discuss the Bridgewater injury but mentioned he cleared the league’s concussion protocol. Bridgewater finished the game completing 15 of 23 passes for 176 yards with a touchdown and interception — his lowest passing yardage total of the season.