Anthony Davis to Apply for Reinstatement to NFL: Details, Comments, Reaction

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2016

San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Anthony Davis (76) before an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in San Francisco, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Less than one year after announcing his retirement from the NFL, San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Anthony Davis plans to apply for reinstatement into the league.

ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report the potential return of the 26-year-old offensive lineman. NFL Network's Rand Getlin added that Davis' intention is to play for the Niners.

When asked about Davis' status Wednesday, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke didn't have many answers with regard to his chances of playing in 2016, per Matt Maiocco of "I've had some contract with him, but I have no idea what the status is at this point in time. He's got to apply for reinstatement to the league. ... Right now, that contract is being tolled. It's just sitting there. It's like the Internet cloud. It's just up there."

After starting all 16 games in each of his first four seasons out of Rutgers, Davis appeared in only seven matchups during the 2014 campaign due to an MCL sprain.

When the 2010 first-round pick made the decision to retire, he cited the desire to let his "brain and body" heal, according to Schefter.

In his absence, the Niners allowed the second most sacks in the NFL in 2015 with 53. As pointed out by Cian Fahey of Football Outsiders, many of those sacks were the fault of his replacements at right tackle—primarily Erik Pears:

Trenton Brown is currently penciled in as San Francisco's starting right tackle for 2016, but that will almost certainly change if Davis returns.

Davis still has four years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $5.15 million for 2016, per

While Davis must prove he is in football shape and ready to play, he would certainly be a welcomed addition to an offensive line that struggled mightily in 2015.

New head coach Chip Kelly needs a talented and fit offensive line in order to run his uptempo offense, and the return of Davis could be a major coup that would go a long way toward helping the team improve upon its 5-11 record from last year.


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