It wasn't exactly a concession speech, nor was it an official changing of the guard. But a proud running back stepped aside, admitting his understudy was the best man for the job.
Stephen Davis has vacated his throne as the centerpiece of the Carolina Panthers' offense, handing it over to DeShaun Foster. Although no official word came down from coach John Fox, Davis said Foster should be the starting running back Sunday when the Panthers host Tampa Bay.
''I'm pretty sure that's going to happen," Davis said. ''I've just got to stay positive about the whole situation and I'm happy for him. He deserves the opportunity."
Davis is still officially listed as the starter on the depth chart, but that's been a mere formality the past three weeks. Davis has just 16 carries for 39 yards, while Foster has been given the ball 54 times for 246 yards. So when Foster had a breakout game against Atlanta last week, running for 131 yards and a touchdown, Davis was ready to accept the inevitable.
''I'm a professional football player, and I'm going to be a professional about it," Davis said.