September 20, 2018 6:00 am

Rick Zamperin: Kudos to Vontae Davis for why, not how, he retired

Buffalo Bills' Vontae Davis, center, gets up after Los Angeles Chargers' Mike Williams, right, scores a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, in Orchard Park, N.Y.

AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

NFL Sundays usually bring about a few compelling storylines like record-breaking performances, upsets and late-game heroics.

But what happened this past Sunday in Buffalo is something not many people, if anyone, has ever witnessed.

Let’s bring you back to New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y., where the Buffalo Bills were hosting the Los Angeles Chargers.

READ MORE: NFL player abruptly retires mid-game

By halftime, the Bills were getting their hats handed to them for the second straight week, trailing 28-6, and as the two teams emerged from their locker rooms, Buffalo was missing starting cornerback Vontae Davis.

Most people thought he was hurt, but Davis had abruptly retired, much to the chagrin of his coaches and teammates. I can’t recall anyone retiring midway through a game.

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The 10-year NFL veteran says he called it quits because he “shouldn’t be out there anymore,” adding that he told the coaches that he wasn’t feeling like himself.

Calling it “an overwhelming decision,” Davis, 30, said, “It’s more important for me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late.”

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I completely understand why Davis’ teammates and coaches were irate at Davis’ abrupt exit. I think he should have handled it better by “retiring” and staying on the sideline to support his team for the remainder of the game.

But I also give Davis a ton of credit for realizing in his heart of hearts that he was done putting his body on the line and wanting to walk away from the game of football on his own terms.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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