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Bills CB Vontae Davis retires at halftime vs. Chargers

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It appears it took veteran cornerback Vontae Davis six quarters to figure out he's not onboard with helping the Buffalo Bills turn things around this season.

In a highly unusual move, Davis retired during halftime of Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. As in effectively immediately. As in he didn't join the team on the field for the second half.

Bills coach Sean McDermott acknowledged the development during his postgame news conference.

"He pulled himself out of the game," McDermott said. "He told us he was done."

Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander also told reporters that Davis abruptly retired at halftime. Alexander called the move "completely disrespectful."

"Never had seen it ever," Alexander told reporters, per ESPN's Mike Rodak. "Pop Warner, high school, college, pros. Never heard of it. Never seen it. And it's just completely disrespectful to his teammates.

"He didn't say nothing to nobody. You know as much as I know. I found out going into the second half of the game. Coming out [they] said he's not coming out, he's retired."

It's no secret Buffalo has had its share of struggles this season, but a player quitting at halftime might be unprecedented. Davis joined the team on a one-year deal in February after playing six seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.

If Davis' retirement sticks, it would be a blow to a Buffalo defense that has struggled to contain passing games this season. Still, it's hard to imagine any scenario in which McDermott, general manager Brandon Beane and the Bills players would welcome back a player who walked out at halftime.

UPDATE: In a statement, Davis explained his decision to retire Sunday:

This isn't how I pictured retiring from the NFL.

But in my 10th NFL season, I have been doing what my body has been programmed to do: Get ready to play on game day. I've endured multiple surgeries and played through many different injuries throughout my career and, over the last few weeks, this was the latest physical challenge.

But today on the field, reality hit me fast and hard: I shouldn't be out there anymore.

I meant no disrespect to my teammates and coaches. But I hold myself to a standard. Mentally, I always expect myself to play at a high level. But physically, I know today that isn't possible, and I had an honest moment with myself. While I was on the field, I just didn't feel right, and I told the coaches, 'I'm not feeling like myself.'

I also wondered: Do I want to keep sacrificing?

And truthfully, I do not because the season is long, and 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.

This was an overwhelming decision, but I'm at peace with myself and my family. I choose to be grateful to God for allowing me to play the game that I have loved as a boy until I turned 30 years old. I choose to be grateful to God for being a part of the NFL and making lifelong friends over the last decade. There were roadblocks and pitfalls along the way, but I am grateful to God for all of it because he doesn't promise any of us an easy journey.

Lastly, I am grateful to God for what he has in store for me ahead, in this next chapter of my life.

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