Vontae Davis went out on his own terms Sunday, and he did it unlike most players in NFL history.
The 30-year-old Buffalo Bills cornerback started his team’s Week 2 game against the Los Angeles Chargers, but was not seen on the field or on the sidelines after halftime. As ESPN reported, teammate Lorenzo Alexander discussed and coach Sean McDermott later confirmed, it turns out Davis outright retired.
“[He] pulled himself out of the game,” McDermott said, per ESPN’s Mike Rodak. “He communicated to us that he was done.”
While Alexander told the media after Sunday’s 31-20 loss to the Chargers that he felt Davis was “quitting on us in the middle of the game,” Davis himself revealed in a social media statement that his decision was “overwhelming” but necessary.
“Today on the field, reality hit me fast and hard; I shouldn’t be out there anymore,” he wrote. “I meant no disrespect to my teammates and coaches. But I hold myself to a standard … and it’s more important for me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late.”
— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2018
Davis also indicated that his faith in God helped him accept an otherwise abrupt and difficult decision.
“I’m at peace with myself and my family,” he continued. “I choose to be grateful to God for allowing me to play the game that I have loved as a boy until I turned 30 years old. I choose to be grateful to God for being a part of the NFL and making lifelong friends over the last decade. There were roadblocks and pitfalls along the way, but I am grateful to God for all of it, because He doesn’t promise any of us an easy journey.”
Signed by the Bills this offseason, Davis missed Buffalo’s season opener before starting on Sunday. Before returning to the AFC East, where he began his career with the Miami Dolphins (2009-2011), the two-time Pro Bowler spent six years with the Indianapolis Colts. The younger brother of longtime NFL tight end Vernon Davis, he entered the league as a first-round draft pick in 2009.
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