NFL Player Abruptly Gives Up, Retires During Halftime


Vontae Davis has left the building.

Just before halftime of the Bills 31-20 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in Buffalo, the veteran cornerback told coach Sean McDermott he was done — and not just for the second half.

“He pulled himself out of the game,” McDermott said, reported “He told us he was done.”

With his team down 28-6 at halftime, Davis, 30, went into the locker room, got dressed, and walked away from the game, his team and his football career.

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“This isn’t how I pictured retiring from the NFL,” Davis, 30, in a statement explaining his actions.

“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,” wrote Davis.

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

His teammates were shocked when they didn’t see him come out for the second half. And they weren’t happy about it.

Did Davis disrespect his teammates and coaches by retiring in the middle of a game?
“Never seen anything like that — Pop Warner, high school, college, pros. Never heard of it, never seen it, and it’s just completely disrespectful [to] his teammates,” Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said, reported CBS Sports. “He didn’t say nothing to nobody. You know as much as I know. I found out going into the second half. [Guys on the sideline] said he’s not coming out, he retired. So … that’s it.”

Davis, the brother of Redskins tight end Vernon Davis, was drafted 25th overall in 2009 by the Dolphins. He played three years in Miami before traded to the Colts in 2012. He played six years with the Colts and made the Pro Bowl twice.

In February, Davis signed a one-year deal with the Bills.

“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,'” Davis added in his statement.

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Of course, it sparked a ton of memes on Twitter.

As well as some sympathy. He is playing for the Bills after all.

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

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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