When you are a professional athlete, there are some lines you just don’t cross. Complain all you want in the locker room, offer vague discontent on social media if you must … but don’t put specific business out there in public. That was the line, and Indianapolis Colts cornerback Vontae Davis crossed it. Now Davis is no longer a member of the Colts.
The Incident Begins
The incident began when Davis was demoted from his starting corner position. The former Pro Bowl defensive back’s change of status was the culmination of a strange week in the life of the Colts. Indy put quarterback Andrew Luck on injured reserve, expecting him to miss the balance of the season trying to rehab from surgery.
For Davis, things started going downhill when it was “accidentally” leaked that he might be traded. This surprised pretty much everyone, as Davis has been one of the stalwarts on Indy’s defense for years. Asked about the rumors, Davis said Indianapolis would always have a special place in his heart. Things continued to get stranger. Davis was not traded, but he also didn’t make the trip to Houston to play the Texans.
The team announced he had lost his starting position, and that he would not be playing for a “non-injury” reason. When pressed, embattled Colts head coach Chuck Pagano only said the decision to bench Davis and leave him back in Indiana was his own. This non-answer did not assuage Indianapolis’ sports reporters or die-hard Colts fans. When someone finally got Davis to comment, he simply said he was still feeling the effects of a preseason injury and not playing up to his ability.
Davis Was Not Happy
But then he kept talking. Davis added that he was not happy with how the benching occurred. He said he wanted to hear about the demotion directly from Pagano, not from defensive coordinator Ted Monachino. “It should be more about the respect. I’ve been in (the league) long enough. When I look at the situation, I feel like there was no respect. Knowing Chuck, I figured it would come from him. It really bothered me…”
That could have been it; it might have been enough to earn Davis his walking papers. But then it came out that the cornerback had elected to undergo season-ending surgery without running it past the Colts brass.
Colts General Manager Chris Ballard was asked about the reports, and he called them “a surprise.” It was also, apparently, the final straw. The next day, Davis’ locker was empty, and he was gone. Done, after five stellar years and one bizarre up and down season. What happens next is anyone’s guess. Davis won’t play again this season, and he may not play again at all. Sure, he’s got Pro Bowl talent … but there are a lot of corners out there, and, coming off surgery, Davis will have to prove himself all over again.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States