Vontae Davis stunned the sports world by retiring from football during halftime of last Sunday’s game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Buffalo Bills.
His former teammates were also taken aback, but by Wednesday forgave the now much-maligned defensive back.
“In the moment you are kind of like ‘Dang, that’s kind of messed up,'” said Bills safety Jordan Poyer. “But you look back and you’re like ‘All right, that’s the decision you made, man. I respect you as a human, I respect you as a person. You’re going to have to live with that forever. I’m always here for you.”
Davis issued a statement after the game on Sunday saying the reality hit him that he “shouldn’t be out there anymore.”
The 10-year veteran did not notify his teammates that he was leaving the game, forcing them to find out during the second half.
“I didn’t know he didn’t come out at halftime, until we got on the field and I saw [Lafayette] Pitts out there,” said cornerback Tre’ White. “That was the first I heard and then they said that he left the stadium. I’ve talked to him since then and he’s in a great spot and he felt like it was his time.”
Bills head coach Sean McDermott and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier both said they had not talked to Davis when they met with the media on Monday. Jordan Poyer was able to connect with his former teammate in the secondary.
“I actually went over to his house that night and talked to him,” said Poyer. “He’s happy, he’s in a better place. He’s satisfied and he said he’s free, so he’s all right.”
Davis joined the Bills in February after being released by the Indianapolis Colts following a dispute about the health of his groin. Davis started the Bills’ first three preseason games, before being passed by Phillip Gaines. The Bills made Davis a healthy scratch for their season opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens.