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Davis won't wear protective gear

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina running back Stephen Davis
scoffed at any notion Wednesday that his bruised right forearm will
prevent him from playing against Tennessee this week.

Listed as probable on the injury report, Davis said he's certain
he'll play Sunday when Carolina (5-0) hosts the Titans (4-2).

"Yeah, I'll play," Davis said, rolling his eyes. "There's not
a doubt in my mind I'll be out there."

Davis, ranked second in the NFC in rushing with 641 yards,
missed most of the second half of Carolina's win over Indianapolis
last week after sustaining a deep bruise in his forearm. The pain
made it difficult to hold the ball, which Davis said contributed to
his third-quarter fumble.

He did not carry the ball again after the fumble, but finished
with 76 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown. It was a season-low
performance after Davis had rushed for at least 100 yards in each
of his first four games with the Panthers.

He said the bruise in his arm was still tender Wednesday, but he
had no plans to take any special precautions during the game
against the Titans.

"I'm not going to wear anything," he said. "I'm just going to
go out there and run and try to be tough."

Davis has been receiving several different forms of treatment
this week, from heat to ice to massages. But if he's not 100
percent by game time, the Panthers aren't worried because of backup
DeShaun Foster's continued emergence.

Foster has been brought along slowly since missing his rookie
season with a knee injury, but had a breakout game last week by
rushing for a career-high 85 yards in relief of Davis. He also had
two catches for 54 yards.

"I think when you run the ball, you have to have some depth at
that position," coach John Fox said. "It is a violent game and it
takes its toll on those guys. When you are able to keep them fresh
and have quality there, it just helps you."

Fox has refused to speculate on how he will use both of his
backs, or how the carries will be divided. But if Davis is
concerned about Foster cutting into his playing time, he's not
letting on.

"There's enough for both of us. Plenty to go around," Davis
said. "I was proud of what DeShaun did against the Colts.
Everybody just needs to get an opportunity. The more opportunity he
gets, the better he's going to get."

The Panthers are averaging 40 carries per game over the past
four games. In comparison, Carolina has never averaged more than 32
carries per game in a season.

It's paying off in production, too. Carolina's running game
ranks second in the NFL averaging 172 yards on the ground and is on
paced to shatter the team record of 110.6 per game set in 1997.