The clock is ticking, but linebacker Thomas Davis and defensive end Jared Allen have a good shot to face the Broncos in Super Bowl 50.
Davis, who broke his right arm in the second quarter of Sunday's NFC Championship, underwent surgery Monday morning. He likely had a plate put in, and he'll have to play with a cast, but the Carolina Panthers should have the guy most consider the heart of their defense available when they kick off in Santa Clara in 13 days.
"My understanding is if everything goes well, it is something he most certainly will be able to play with," coach Ron Rivera said Monday, about 14 hours after Davis told him he'd be ready to play.
"I didn't doubt him. He said it with the same type of sincerity he said to me when he told me he was coming back from the third ACL. There is something about his conviction and I think that's what makes him who he is today. So I have no doubt that as long as everything continues to heal the way it's supposed to, he'll be out there."
After Davis had watched the second half of the Panthers' blowout win over the Cardinals with his arm in a sling, he gave the media the same vow he told Rivera.
"I'll be ready to go. I can guarantee that," he said. "I'm not missing the Super Bowl."
Added defensive tackle Kawann Short:
"Three ACLs, broken fingers. It hasn’t stopped him before. I think they will have to take all of his jerseys away — all five of them, and even the ones at home."
Allen, a 12-year veteran, is as likely to miss his first chance to play in a Super Bowl as Davis, who's in his 12th season.
Allen wasn't happy that Rivera held him out Sunday with a broken bone in his foot, but now that Allen has nearly two more weeks to heal, it's almost like Rivera had a plan.
"I love coach, I have nothing but respect for him and I respected his decision. Obviously, I wanted to be out there, but he must have had a crystal ball; he knew something I didn't," Allen said with a smile. "The guys played great and I'm just excited to get back on the field and play one more game.
"I'm ready to rock and roll. It's going to be the longest two weeks in the world getting ready for this game."
While it's tough to see Rivera keeping Allen out of his one Super Bowl shot, that small possibility does exist — for now.
"I'm excited for the fact that he has two weeks to get ready and prove to me that he's ready to roll, which I believe he will, knowing him," Rivera said. "He probably could have played Sunday, but this is one of the decisions I had to make going forward."
The Panthers came out of the NFC Championship with three other notable injuries, but none of those are expected to keep guys out of the Super Bowl.
Safety Roman Harper missed the entire second half after he was poked in the eye while trying to make a tackle. Harper, who won a ring with the Saints in 2009, visited the eye doctor Monday.
Center Ryan Kalil was also dinged up in the second quarter. He missed the final few plays of the half to have something with his knee taken care of, but he returned at the start of the third quarter and he's "fine," according to Rivera.
Fullback Mike Tolbert tweaked a knee in the fourth quarter. Rivera said Tolbert had "a little discomfort," but his Monday visit with a physician is likely precautionary.