Charlotte, NC (WCNC) - It's hard to imagine the Carolina Panthers without Thomas Davis, but fans of the team might have to get used to that thought.
Davis told NFL.com's Brook Cersosimo that he will retire after the 2018 season, which will be his 13th.
The linebacker turns 35 in March, and has battled back from three ACL tears.
On Monday cleaning out his locker after the Panthers 31-26 Wild Card loss to New Orleans, Davis indicated he would be competing for playing time with Shaq Thompson in 2018.
"I'm pretty sure coming back next year it'll be in a reduced role," Davis said. "Shaq has earned the right."
Davis played in and started 15 games this season, only missing Carolina's Dec. 24 game against Tampa Bay while serving a suspension for an illegal hit in the previous week's game.
But he also admitted this week to playing with a rib injury for much of the season.
"This was a tough year for me," Davis said. "Dealing with a bunch of injuries and not being able to go out there and perform like I know I'm capable of performing until the last couple of weeks of the season."
Davis was a first-round (14th overall) draft pick by the Panthers in 2005 out of the University of Georgia.
He was selected to Pro Bowls in 2015 and 2016, and named 1st-team All-Pro in 2015, and famously played Super Bowl 50 with a broken arm.
Davis was the 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year for his work with the Thomas Davis Defending Dreams Foundation.
He has 1,015 career tackles, 28 sacks,13 interceptions, 18 forced fumbles and 9 fumble recoveries.
Davis scored his first-career touchdown on a fumble recovery and return against the Arizona Cardinals in 2016.