Buffalo Bills corner back Vontae Davis retired at half-time in Sunday’s defeat to the Los Angeles Chargers before admitting: “Reality hit me hard.”
The 30-year-old former Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins player took his pads off in the dressing room at half-time and informed his coaches that he would not be continuing, according to head coach Sean McDermott.
McDermott told reporters: “(Davis) pulled himself out of the game. Communicated to us that he was done.”
Davis explained his decision: “This isn’t how I pictured retiring from the NFL.
But today on the field, reality hit me fast and hard: I shouldn’t be out there anymore. I meant no disrespect to my team-mates 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.
In 10 years in the league, Davis played 111 games and had 22 interceptions, returning one of them for a touchdown in his debut season as a first-round draft pick with the Dolphins. He made the 2014 and 2015 Pro Bowls with the Colts.
Meanwhile, Antonio Brown broke an NFL catching record but could not stop his Pittsburgh Steelers side falling to a 42-37 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field.
The wide receiver produced a nine-reception performance for 67 yards as he became the quickest player to reach 750 catches on his 117th regular season match.
The Chiefs stormed into a 21-0 first-quarter lead but the Steelers hauled themselves level at half-time, including James Washington’s score with his first NFL reception.
However, the home defence continued to leak points as Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes finished with six touchdown passes, with tightend Travis Kelce scoring with two receptions.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for a huge 452 yards from 60 attempted passes and dived over for a three-yard rushing score in the final quarter but the Steelers fell just short.
The Cleveland Browns blew their chance of victory for the first time since December 13, 2016 after they let a nine-point lead slip in the final quarter at the New Orleans Saints.
Zane Gonzalez’s two field goals and a Carlos Hyde touchdown helped the Browns to a 12-3 third-quarter lead, with Wil Lutz replying with a three-point goal, and they held on until a quickfire double from Michael Thomas put the hosts 18-12 ahead with just over two minutes on the clock.
However, the match was not over as Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw a 47-yard pass to Antonio Callaway to level the scores but Gonzalez missed the extra point kick for the second time in the game.
And they were made to pay for the mistake as Lutz kicked a 44-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining, with Gonzalez missing a last-gasp effort late on, to snatch a 21-18 victory for New Orleans.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers overcame a late charge from Super Bowl LII winners Philadelphia Eagles to earn a 27-21 win to start the season with successive victories.
The Buccaneers edged a thrilling 48-40 match on the opening game of the NFL season at the New Orleans Saints and they maintained their attack prowess as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick produced another four-touchdown display.
The Eagles scraped past the Atlanta Falcons in their season opener, but will be buoyed by Jay Ajayi’s third score in two matches and the possible return of quarterback Carson Wentz next week.
Daniel Carlson missed two field goals in overtime for the Minnesota Vikings as they played out an entertaining 29-29 draw with the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.
Matt Ryan came out on top in the battle between the star quarterbacks as he ran in for one touchdown and threw two more as the Atlanta Falcons beat Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers 31-24 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes but was also intercepted twice as the Indianapolis Colts ran out 21-9 winners against the Redskins.
The Tennessee Titans almost let a 14-point lead slip as they squeezed past the Houston Texans in a 20-17 triumph thanks to two Ryan Succop field goals in the final quarter.
The Miami Dolphins defeated the New York Jets 20-12, while the Buffalo Bills remain without a win following a 31-20 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
In the night’s late games, Blake Bortles threw four touchdown passes in the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-20 win over New England Patriots.
Meanwhile, the Broncos secured a 20-19 win over the Oakland Raiders thanks to a 36-yard field goal from Brandon McManus in the dying seconds. The triumph came despite an impressive outing by Derek Carr, who completed 29 of 32 passes.
On the road, the Arizona Cardinals were shut out 34-0 by the Los Angeles Rams, while Jimmy Garoppolo made two touchdown passes as the San Francisco 49ers edged the Detroit Lions 30-27.
Eli Manning endured a difficult night, getting sacked six times as the Dallas Cowboys charged to a 20-13 win over the New York Giants.