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Monday, April 15, 2024

Vernon Davis Narrates the Tale of the Most Bizarre ‘Halftime Retirement’ Decision in NFL; “Thought He Was Joking”

In the NFL, there have been some wild moments, but nothing quite compares to the time a player decided to retire right in the middle of a game. And no, it’s not the famous case of Antonio Brown. It was actually Vontae Davis, a former Buffalo Bills defensive back, who shocked everyone by calling it quits at halftime.

Vernon Davis, Vontae’s older brother who also played in the NFL, recently appeared on the All Facts No Brakes podcast with Keyshawn Johnson. During the interview, Johnson asked Vernon about his brother’s abrupt decision to retire during halftime of a game against the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018.


Vernon revealed that he received a call from Vontae while he himself was in the locker room during halftime of his own game with the Washington Redskins. He was surprised at first because his little brother never called him in between the games. The former tight end stated,

“So I called him, he was like, I’m retiring. You know, I thought he was joking. You know, because Vontae, play games like that every now and then. But I thought it was a joke.”

When Vernon called him back, Vontae told him he was retiring, At first, Vernon thought it was a joke, as the brothers usually played similar pranks with each other. But when he realized Vontae was serious, just to confirm it he called his grandmother and his agent.

Vernon was completely baffled and couldn’t understand, why Vontae would make such a sudden decision. However, after the game, he talked to Vontae, who explained that he was going through some mental struggles and just didn’t feel like playing anymore.

It was a shocking moment not just for Vernon but for the entire NFL community, as nobody expected such a drastic move from the Bills defensive back.

When and Why Did Vontae Davis Retire?

Vontae Davis made the surprising decision to retire during the Week 2 game against the Los Angeles Chargers in 2018. A game that the Buffalo Bills lost with a score of 31-20. However, it was much before the loss, during halftime when he realized he didn’t want to play football anymore.

After he retired in September 2018, he gave an interview to ESPN’s The Undefeated, where he went into more detail about his decision to retire mid-game. He stated that during the first half; he sensed something wasn’t right, and he wasn’t feeling like himself.

When the Bills trailed 28-6 with 47 seconds left before halftime, Davis reached a breaking point. He approached the Bills’ defensive backs coach and simply said, “I’m done.” Although his coach and others tried to persuade him otherwise, Davis was firm in his decision.

Despite facing criticism for leaving his team in the middle of a game, Davis found leaving the game to be a relief, shedding the expectations and pressures of playing injured and adopting a tough mentality. It was a personal decision for him and still remains unbothered by others’ opinions.

The Miami Dolphins drafted Vontae Davis as the 25th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, and he played 10 seasons in the NFL. Moreover, in his entire career, he also played for the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills. In his decade-long career, he started in 113 of 121 games and totaled 2.0 sacks, 395 tackles, 97 passes defended, and three forced fumbles.

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