Amid an abysmal showing and an even more unpromising season for the Buffalo Bills, cornerback Vontae Davis retired from professional football at halftime down 28-6 to the San Diego Chargers.

Bills’ Vontae Davis retires due to health concerns

Though not the typical way to go about it, 30-year-old Davis cited a few reasons for his departure, none of which were the halftime deficit or the state of the Bills franchise. “This isn’t how I pictured retiring from the NFL,” he said in a statement on social media. “I’ve endured multiple surgeries and played through many different injuries throughout my career.”

Davis was drafted by the Miami Dolphins as a first-round pick (No. 25 overall) in 2009 out of Illinois. He spent three seasons with the team before joining the Indianapolis Colts. Davis then signed a one-year deal with the Bills in February.

The two-time Pro-Bowler had only been with the Bills for the 2018 season, but the few quarters in Western New York were too much to handle for both the cornerback’s physical and psychological well-being. “Over the last few weeks, this was the latest physical challenge.”


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His unorthodox decision prompted an uproar from NFL fans on social media, accusing Davis of quitting on the team. ESPN’s Damien Woody was so incensed about the matter that he said he would have “fought the cat” had he been his teammate. It all stirs up more dialogue concerning the physical endurance NFL players sacrifice at the expense of billionaire owners and ungrateful fans, and the critical state of the NFL altogether.

Davis, although retiring in possibly the strangest fashion the NFL has seen, prompted a viscerally human and emotional response, demanding the NFL’s attention to player safety both on and off the field. He isn’t alone in any of this. The past two NFL seasons have seen a surge in early retirees, especially those before the age of 30. Davis’ decision is one of many pages in the developing story of the NFL’s public relations fiascos, making every fan think twice about what their favorite players are really going through when playing professional football.


“Do I want to keep sacrificing?” Davis asked himself. “I do not … the season is long, and it’s more important for me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentally and limp away too late.”

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