By ANDREW FRATTAROLI
In 2018, most people realize that football can take an extreme toll on your body and brain, especially as for professionals. Players have become far more aware of the long-term consequences and therefore have been retiring earlier.
However, Buffalo Bills cornerback Vontae Davis took that to another level when he retired at halftime on Sunday, in the midst of their NFL game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
Matt Stevens and Jason M. Bailey wrote an article about this for The New York Times. They usually have very good insight in their articles and this one was no different. What was great about this article is that it addressed the massive scrutiny that Davis faced because of his actions. He is the only player to ever have retired in this manner and fans on social media and journalists for sports outlets alike laid into him for quitting on his teammates. Yet, the article points out why the decision shouldn’t be so heavily criticized
The article features a picture of Davis’ official statement to the press where he says that he “felt off” and didn’t feel like he should be out there any more, even though he was not injured. The article mentions other cases of people who were not injured that decided to retire early to prevent long-term health issues. Two examples that they use are Chris Borland, who retired after his rookie year, and John Urschel, a former Ravens offensive lineman who pursued his Ph.D. in higher mathematics.
So, the question is, should Davis had at least stuck it out until the end of the game? Probably, for his teammates, if nothing else. However, Davis has had three concussions in his NFL career (the article goes into this as well) and by going back out there and basically ‘feeling out of it’, he risks receiving another concussion which surely would do more long term damage.