Defensive tackle Carl Davis' "Welcome to the NFL" moment didn't come during a tackle or a batted pass against the Denver Broncos last Sunday. It came when Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning stood over center and started barking out commands to his offense.
"The first snap I got in, I heard Peyton Manning call out 'Omaha!' like I hear on TV all the time," Davis said following Wednesday's practice. "It was like, 'Wow, I'm actually in this game. This is my first regular season game.'"
Davis, who played in place of injured defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, finished his regular-season debut with three tackles and a deflected pass while playing 34 of 77 snaps. He didn't make any highlight reel plays, but he was a component of the Ravens' run defense that allowed just 2.8 yards per carry.
"I just want to put some good film out there and try to help my team win," Davis said. "We came up short, and even me as a rookie, I have to do a little bit more to try to give us that edge."
With Jernigan nearing a return from a knee injury, Davis' snaps could be cut into a bit. However, the rookie third-round draft pick out of Iowa is focusing on the positives.
"Honestly, it's a blessing to be a part of this process, even being a rookie and the trials and tribulations it has," Davis said. "I'm enjoying it – embracing it all – because I like to think of myself as a 1-percenter. All of us out here are 1-percenters. Not everybody gets to do this."