Washington's Thomas Davis Sr. Announces He Will Retire After 2020 Season

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2020

Washington Football Team outside linebacker Thomas Davis (58) in action during an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020 in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Daniel Kucin Jr.)
Daniel Kucin Jr./Associated Press

Thomas Davis Sr. wouldn't allow three ACL tears to keep him off the field. He wouldn't allow a broken arm to stop him from playing in Super Bowl 50. Following this year, though, he'll take himself off the field on his own accord, retiring after the conclusion of the 2020 season.  

The veteran linebacker announced his decision on Instagram on Tuesday, bringing his 16-year career to an end.

Tom Pelissero @TomPelissero

Washington LB Thomas Davis, playing his 16th — and he says final — NFL season, posted on Instagram that he will use his cleats to remember his accomplishments and the remarkable hurdles he’s overcome Sunday night. https://t.co/cjap2cIF1Y

The Washington Football Team defender may find himself in the playoffs one last time this year if the club is able to clinch the NFC East on Sunday. That makes Davis' final regular-season contest as important as ever. 

Toughness and perseverance came to define Davis' career. A safety in college at Georgia, he reshaped his body to make the pro transition and became one of the league's most consistent leaders.

The 37-year-old posted six 100-tackle seasons with his last one coming in 2019 after he missed the mark in back-to-back years following a five-season stretch of success. The 2015 campaign was his most decorated as a player as he was named to his first Pro Bowl and All-Pro team while leading the Carolina Panthers to a 15-1 record.

In the buildup to Super Bowl 50, Davis told reporters of his struggles: "I never really look at it from a personal standpoint. It's great for this team to be in this position. We've worked so hard all season long to accomplish this goal and put ourselves in this position to possibly win the Super Bowl, so it's great to be in this position as a football team, and I'm just happy to be a part of it."

Of course, Davis has also received a number of awards based on his team-first ideals. He was a finalist for the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year award three times, winning in 2014. His return from knee surgery landed him the 2011 Ed Block Courage Award, and he took home the 2016 Bart Starr Award for his work in the community that season.

Add that to his 1,216 (and counting) career tackles and it was a 16-year run well spent.