Jaguars defensive end Ryan Davis has participated in just 25 snaps since he was promoted from the practice squad on Nov. 15, but he's made good use of his limited time on the field, recording two quarterback hits already. No play was more important though, than his game-clinching, one-handed interception on Sunday that earned him a spot near the top of SportsCenter's Top 10 plays.
With some strong play in eight snaps against the Arizona Cardinals, the snap count for Davis doubled against the Houston Texans a week later. And while the extra time for the second-year end has meant more time on the sideline for veterans like Jason Babin, that hasn't ruffled feathers.
"The cool thing is when we elevated Ryan Davis, Jason Babin thought it was awesome, one of the best things to take place," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said. "It was not seen as a threat, it wasn't seen as a guy that was going to take reps from him, it was really seen as a guy that can elevate play and those things are cool."
In fact, according to Bradley, Babin isn't the only one that is enthused for Davis. The coach also mentioned rookie safety Johnathan Cyprien as a player that was "so excited" for Davis to see the field after contributing so much in practice.
"When we mentioned he was going to be up and active, I think the team definitely thought he warranted it because of everything he's all about," Bradley said. "And then to see him go out there and have some success I think it's elevated everybody...I think there is a genuine excitement for him."
Jaguars defensive coordinator Bob Babich echoed that sentiment after Davis's season debut against the Cardinals in Week 11. "We felt the last couple of weeks he's really shown up in practice and showed some speed in rushing," Babich said. "So it was fun not only to get him on the 53, but to get him dressed for the game and get him in the game and play. He had a lot of fun and everybody was excited because he's such a good person. The whole defense was excited for him."
Still, in the NFL, being a good person that teammates root for isn't enough to earn a roster spot or play time. Quality production is the key and Davis is off to a good start.
An undrafted free agent in 2012, Davis tallied 12 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss as a senior at Bethune-Cookman. In his rookie season with the Jaguars, he participated in 17 snaps in Week 5, but spent the majority of his 2012 season on the team's practice squad.