Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis, who shocked the sports world after he retired during halftime last week, is finally explaining his side of the story.
Davis remained quiet in the days following his retirement; not even Bills head coach Bill McDermott said he’d spoken with Davis since his abrupt departure. (RELATED: NFL VETERAN PRO BOWLER RETIRES MID-GAME WITH TEAM GETTING BLOWN OUT)
“I didn’t feel a need … I’m focused on my team right now,” McDermott told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
But just as speculation about what’s going on inside Davis’s head hit an all-time high, the former cornerback gave an in-depth interview to ESPN’s The Undefeated.
“I went to the bench after that series and it just hit me,” Davis said. “I don’t belong on that field anymore.”
Just 47 seconds before the halftime whistle, Davis approached defensive backs coach John Butler, and simply said, “I’m done.”
At halftime, the Bills were down 28–6 against the Chargers, so he quietly told some of his teammates that he was leaving and made tracks to the locker room.
“I didn’t expect them to understand. That moment was shocking to me, as well,” he said, adding, “My intention was not to hurt my teammates,” but he knew he was making the right decision. “In that moment, my intuition was telling me I don’t belong on that field anymore.”
Davis also says he hasn’t felt this good in his “whole life.”
“I left everything the league wanted me to be, playing for my teammates while injured, the gladiator mentality, it all just popped,” he said on a final note. “And when it popped, I just wanted to leave it all behind. So that’s why I don’t care what people say. That experience was personal and not meant for anyone else to understand. It was me cold turkey leaving behind an identity that I carried with me for so long.”
The Bills, who now have a 0–2 record, travel to Minnesota for a Sunday game against the Vikings this week.