Ex-Redskins TE Vernon Davis Says Concussions Played Role in Retirement Decision

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2020

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 22: Vernon Davis #85 of the Washington Redskins warms up prior to an NFL preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on August 22, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Vernon Davis alluded Monday to how the physical toll from his 14-year NFL career factored into his decision to retire.

Explaining his choice in more depth Wednesday on Redskins Nation (h/t NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux), the former Washington Redskins tight end cited concussions as one specific concern.

"Just the simple wear and tear over time. Especially those concussions. 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."

Davis first announced his retirement Sunday during the Super Bowl. In a statement he released on Twitter on Monday, he said he "[wanted] to leave the the game while I am still healthy and able to pursue other passions and begin the next chapter of my life."

Cadeaux noted the 36-year-old suffered five documented concussions during his NFL career.

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Davis was limited to four games this past season. Following Washington's Week 4 defeat against the New York Giants, The Athletic's Ben Standig reported the team had placed him in the concussion protocol. He didn't suit up for the remainder of the year.

He walks away ranking 11th all-time among tight ends in receptions (583) and 12th in receiving yards (7,562).

Davis was the second notable tight end to hang up his cleats this winter. Antonio Gates, who didn't play in 2019, confirmed in January that he was calling it a career.