Sports

Buffalo Cornerback Vontae Davis Has Had Enough of the Bills, Apparently Retires From Football Mid-Game

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05:  NFL player Vontae Davis arrives at The Playboy Party during Super Bowl Weekend, which celebrated the future of Playboy and its newly redesigned magazine in a transformed space within Lot A of AT&T Park on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Playboy)
Vontae Davis, retiree. Jason Merritt/TERM/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills have only played twice this season, but they’ve managed to pack a year’s worth of sorrow into those two games. Fresh off a humiliating 47-3 Week One loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the Bills stumbled out of the gates on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers and went into the locker room down 28-6 at half. Not everyone on the team returned to the field, though. According to reports, cornerback Vontae Davis decided that 1.5 games as a Bills player was enough, and he retired right then and there.

At the postgame press conference, Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott confirmed that the 30-year-old Davis had called it quits.

With Davis enjoying retirement, the Bills managed to play better in the second half but still lost to the Chargers, 31-20 .

Update, Sept. 16, 10:25 p.m. ET: Davis released a statement, via the NFL, regarding his retirement. He writes, “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.” Full statement below.

This isn’t how I pictured retiring from the NFL.

But in my 10th NFL season, I have been doing what my body has been programmed to do: Get ready to play on game day. I’ve endured multiple surgeries and played through many different injuries throughout my career and, over the last few weeks, this was the latest physical challenge.

But today on the field, reality hit me fast and hard: I shouldn’t be out there anymore.

I meant no disrespect to my teammates and coaches. But I hold myself to a standard. Mentally, I always expect myself to play at a high level. But physically, I know today that isn’t possible, and I had an honest moment with myself. While I was on the field, I just didn’t feel right, and I told the coaches, ‘I’m not feeling like myself.’ 

I also wondered: Do I want to keep sacrificing? And truthfully, I do not because the season is long, 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.

This was an overwhelming decision, but I’m at peace with myself and my family. 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.

Lastly, I am grateful to God for what he has in store for me ahead, in this next chapter of my life.

- Vontae Davis