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Vontae Davis shocks teammates, followers by retiring at halftime

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y — Vontae Davis started Sunday as a defensive again for the Buffalo Payments. He ended the day retired from soccer, gorgeous his coaches and teammates by calling it a profession in the course of the sport.

At halftime, with the Payments trailing 28-6, Davis up and stop. Stop. He wasn’t harm, he hadn’t been benched by coach Sean McDermott. He simply picked up his ball and went house.

“Pulled himself out of the sport,” McDermott mentioned. “He communicated to us that he was finished.”

Requested for clarification in order that there was no mistaking what occurred, McDermott was requested if Davis had been benched, or was harm.

“No,” the coach mentioned. “After I get again in (to his workplace), we’ll proceed to speak on what precisely is happening there and we’ll go from there. I want I had a greater reply for you proper now, I’m simply being up entrance.”

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Davis signed with the Payments as a free agent in March after lacking many of the 2017 season with a critical groin harm that required surgical procedure. He was restricted for a lot of the offseason program, and although his work picked up in coaching camp and the preseason, it was clear that he was struggling.

In actual fact, he was having such a troublesome time that McDermott determined to depart him inactive for the season opener in Baltimore. This week, with rookie cornerback Taron Johnson sidelined by a shoulder harm, Davis was lively and he really began the sport at proper cornerback.

Nonetheless, he was in protection when the Chargers scored their first landing as Philip Rivers discovered Mike Williams over the center, and he was benched for the following sequence. Thereafter, he was on the sector sporadically, and apparently, after going into the locker room at halftime, he opted to not come again out and play.

“This is not how I pictured retiring from the NFL,” Davis mentioned in a press release Sunday night time. 

“…However at present on the sector, actuality hit me quick and laborious: I should not be on the market anymore.”

“I feel I did lose a bit respect for him as a person,” mentioned security Rafael Bush, a nine-year veteran. “On this recreation, we’re at all times taught to combat to the top, and so that you can quit in your teammates in the course of the sport, I’ve by no means seen something like that.”

Naturally, the 2 crew leaders, linebacker Lorenzo Alexander and Kyle Williams, had been as surprised as everybody else by what transpired.

“I don’t don’t have anything to say about Vontae, I’m going to present him a bit extra respect than he confirmed us at present so far as quitting on us in the course of the sport,” Alexander mentioned.

In fact, Alexander did have extra to say on Davis’ determination, although.

“By no means have seen it, Pop Warner, highschool, school, execs, by no means heard of it, by no means seen it,” he mentioned. “Utterly disrespectful to his teammates. He didn’t say nothing to no person. You already know as a lot as I do know. I discovered going out for the second half of the sport. They mentioned he’s not popping out, he retired. That’s it.”

Like Alexander, Williams had no clue what was taking place when the second half began and Davis wasn’t on the sideline.

“I’ve by no means been round that, by no means heard something like that,” the 13-year veteran mentioned. “I feel the one factor that must be mentioned is he must be the place he’s proper now. That’s not right here. Level clean and easy. I don’t know what the thought course of was. That’s the laborious half about it; you may’t actually wrap you thoughts round it.”

Davis’ determination actually created issues for the secondary. There have been solely 4 cornerbacks lively for the sport – him, Tre’Davious White, Lafayette Pitts and Phillip Gaines. And within the second quarter, Gaines suffered an arm harm that knocked him out of the sport.

With Davis apparently on Massive Tree Highway heading house, that left Pitts to play exterior nook, and Bush needed to transfer into the nickel spot. There have been no backups.

“We simply needed to make corrections and changes and put individuals in locations on the fly,” Bush mentioned. “We really performed fairly effectively within the second half, we solely gave up three factors, so we performed fairly effectively given the circumstances that had been in opposition to us at the moment. These are a number of the issues which can be inexcusable, and as a person, as a participant that’s been taking part in a very long time, it’s a satisfaction factor and also you don’t stop in your teammates like that.

“I’ve by no means seen something like that in my 9 years of taking part in. It was a shocker; you bought your teammates on the market. We’re undermanned already with Phillip’s harm on the finish of the half so we’re already down a person. For him to stop like that’s unexplainable. You don’t stop in your teammates like that. I’m simply confused.”

The Payments misplaced 31-20, and they’re now Zero-2.

“I meant no disrespect to my teammates and coaches,” Davis mentioned in his assertion.

“However I maintain myself to an ordinary. Mentally, I at all times anticipate myself to play at a excessive degree. However bodily, I do know at present that is not doable, and I had an sincere second with myself. Whereas I used to be on the sector, I simply did not really feel proper, and I instructed the coaches, ‘I am not feeling like myself.’

“I additionally puzzled: Do I need to hold sacrificing?

“And in truth, I don’t as a result of the season is lengthy, and it is extra essential for me and my household to stroll away wholesome than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late.”  

Comply with Sal Maiorana on Twitter @salmaiorana

Associated slideshow: Better of the NFL season (Supplied by photograph providers)

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 16: Ezekiel Elliott #21 of the Dallas Cowboys scores a touchdown against the New York Giants in the fourth quarter of a football game at AT&T Stadium on September 16, 2018 in Arlington, Texas.

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