Bills coach Sean McDermott told reporters Monday that the Bills are putting cornerback Vontae Davis’ sudden retirement during Sunday’s game behind them.
“His actions have spoken,” McDermott said of Davis, who started Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers before deciding to retire at halftime and leaving the stadium. “He’s retired.”
McDermott added Davis has “had a heckuva career” and wished the 30-year-old the best, but also said the team will soldier on without distraction.
“I got a lot of respect for Vontae,” McDermott said. “He’s a good person. I certainly appreciate the way he worked when he was in here, but we’re moving forward as a football team. …
“There’s no need to address it (with the team). We’re moving on. That’s what a team does. This is not going to become a distraction for us.”
Davis remains on the roster while the team ponders its options, but the Bills received a roster exemption from the league and can add another player if they choose.
Davis, who signed a one-year, $5 million contract in February, released a statement on Twitter after Sunday’s game, which was his first action of the season.
“This isn’t how I pictured retiring from the NFL,” Davis wrote. “… But today on the field, reality hit me fast and hard: I shouldn’t be out there playing anymore.
“I meant no disrespect to my teammates and coaches. But I hold myself to a high standard. Mentally, I always expect myself to play at the highest level. But physically, I know today that isn’t possible, and I had an honest moment with myself. … It’s more important for me and my family to walk away than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late.”
Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander called Davis’ decision “completely disrespectful” to the team, but defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier echoed McDermott’s refrain on Monday.
“We wish him nothing but the best,” Frazier said of Davis. “I hope things work out for Vontae, whatever he chooses to do. Hopefully he’ll learn from this experience. I’m not sure what’s going on in his mind right now. I haven’t talked to him since yesterday at this point. But eventually I hope to get a chance to speak to him and wish him nothing but the best.”
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