Reason #2: Lavonte David’s dependability
It doesn’t matter how good of a skill set a player has if they are not able to stay on the field with consistency. There are a lot of good players that are not able to stay on the field due to a lack of conditioning or injury, however, this has not been the case for Lavonte David.
Knock on wood here, but so far in David’s nine years in the league, he has stayed relatively healthy. Playing at a position such as linebacker, that is rare to see. Luke Kuechly was another NFC South linebacker, but unlike David, he suffered from many injuries in his career. He suffered so much that he retired following the 2019 season.
As for Lavonte David, in his nine seasons, he has only missed seven games. The most games he missed in one season was when he missed three games in 2017 after suffering a high ankle sprain. Other than that, David has missed two games in both 2014 and 2018.
What’s even more important to look at than the number of games a player has missed, is the number of snaps they play during a game. One of the most discouraging things to see is when a player “taps” out and sits a few plays out. They all do it and it’s not a bad thing, but it still should be commended when a player is on the field for almost every snap – A player like Lavonte David.
Since he has been in the league, David has played nearly every defensive snap when healthy. Overall, he has played over 93% of the defensive snaps in games that he played. The only seasons in which David played in less than 90% of the defensive snaps were the years that he got injured. This is common, as many coaches will limit injured player’s snap count until they are 100% healthy.
In this year’s playoff run, Lavonte David turned those numbers up to another level, playing 100% of the defensive snaps in every game of the playoffs. There wasn’t one defensive snap that he didn’t play. That’s what a leader does and that’s what Lavonte David has been doing throughout his entire career.