Just hours before the Chiefs and 49ers kicked off Super Bowl LIV this past Sunday, Redskins tight end Vernon Davis announced his retirement from the NFL.
The decision itself wasn't expected, although it was not exactly shocking, either. But the way the tight end made his retirement decision public, in a skit with Rob Gronkowski and James Harrison, seemed a bit odd.
In an interview with Redskins Nation, Davis explained that he didn't plan to announce it in that fashion, but he wasn't upset about it. (Watch the full interview on Redskins Nation on NBC Sports Washington at 5:30 and 11 p.m. on Wednesday).
"It was extremely tough because I didn't plan to do it in that fashion," Davis said. "But it worked out the way it needed to, so I just let it go. It was an awesome skit."
On Monday, the 36-year-old reaffirmed his decision to walk away from the game with a lengthy Twitter post. In the letter, he stated the wear and tear his body endured as the main reason for stepping away from football.
Davis doubled down on those claims on Redskins Nation, stating that the physical nature of football, specifically citing concussions, caused him to hang up the cleats.
"Just the simple wear and tear over time. Especially those concussions," Davis said. "They can take a toll on you in the long haul. It's just better safe than sorry. But if it wasn't for that throughout the course of time, then I probably would have played for the next five years, at least. But I feel like I made a great decision as I move forward."
Excluding the six games Davis missed as a rookie in 2006, tight end only missed eight games over the next 12 seasons due to injury. He was one of the most durable and productive players at his position for nearly a decade.
But in his final season with the Redskins, Davis suffered a concussion during Washington's Week 4 loss to the Giants, one that ended his season, and thus, his career. He missed the final two games of the 2018 season with a concussion as well. Throughout Davis' 14-year career, he suffered five concussions.
Playing in an era that featured Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham and Greg Olsen, Davis was one of the most productive players at his position. Although he was named to the Pro Bowl just twice, he finished five seasons with over 50 receptions and eight seasons with 40 or more catches.
When asked when he will get the moment to reflect on his career and look back at what he accomplished, the tight end could not put a timetable on when that might be.
"As far as my career goes, I've never really had an opportunity to reflect on what I've done, with taking in the accolades and achievements that I've been able to bring together," he said. "I've never had the chance to reflect because I've always been one to be grateful and continue to live in the moment. As far as reflecting, I don't know when I'll be able to do that, to tell you the truth. I'm always thinking about the future and the goals in front of me."
While he feels like he made a "great decision," the tight end explained he will miss his teammates and the little things that come with being a football player the most.
"I'm going to miss the people, particularly my teammates as well as the organization. There are some wonderful people in this building.," Davis said. "We only live once and tomorrow is not promised. If I can walk in here and see a beautiful smile on your face, or even a conversation with my teammates in the locker room, that's the best part. That's living. That's life. You can't take that for granted. You can't trade that for anything."
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