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Thomas Davis officially retired from the NFL today, calling it a career after 16 seasons and a whopping three torn ACLs.
Davis is the only player in NFL history to continue to play after tearing his ACL three different times, and he said in formally announcing his retirement today at the Panthers’ facility that he’s as proud of that as anything. Davis recalled a conversation with former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, who encouraged him to keep going after his third torn ACL.
“He told me, he said, ‘I believe in you and if you’re willing to put yourself through it, I’m willing to give you the opportunity,’” Davis said. “In life just knowing that you have somebody who believes in you, just knowing that you have an opportunity, that you have a chance — and I took it and I ran with it. The best years of my career all happened after I tore my ACL for a third time.”
It would have been easy for Davis to decide after that third torn ACL that he couldn’t do it anymore. Instead, Davis played nine more seasons after his third ACL tear, made three Pro Bowls, and won a Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Thomas Davis reflects on staying in the NFL through three ACL tears originally appeared on Pro Football Talk