The San Francisco 49ers announced today that OT Anthony Davis has informed the team that he has once again retired from the NFL. When Davis retired prior to the 2015 season, it was upsetting to the Niner Faithful because it left the San Francisco 49ers in a tough spot. The NFL Draft and free agency period had passed. There was not much the team could do to adequately address the issue, which contributed to the offensive line being one of the worst in franchise history.
This time, the 49ers are in a bit better shape with an improved offensive line anchored at right tackle by Trent Brown. After a good training camp and praises from teammates and coaches, Davis was supposed to be the team's starting right guard. He had seemed to do enough to regain the trust of those teammates and even the Niner Faithful, because he was going to be an integral part of the team's revamped offensive line. That is, until Brown held on to the starting role at the right tackle spot.
After retiring for health reasons last year and following a year of what can be described as "social media attacks" against the 49ers and general manager Trent Baalke, Davis filed for reinstatement into the NFL. He was approved to return just as the 49ers opened training camp.
I just want my time and mind intact, when you lose em both, you can't buy em back.— AD (@BamDavis_) September 27, 2016
Having missed all of the team's offseason program and being forced to play catchup, Davis started training camp working at right tackle with the third-unit offensive line. He worked his way up into a battle with Brown for the starting job. Brown ended up impressing a lot of people, including teammates Joe Staley and Davis. He even got praises from Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, whose Denver Broncos practiced against the 49ers twice during preseason.
Despite his hard work and continued praises from the 49ers, Davis was never able to wrestle away the starting job from the bigger Brown. So he went to his coaches and did something unexpected. He volunteered to move to right guard. It was a great move by Davis who seemed to want to earn a starting role on the offensive line.
However, just prior to the team's first game of the season, a situation emerged that moved Davis back to the tackle spot, this time as a backup. There was a report that Davis was considering retirement again and was unhappy about the move to guard, despite earlier reports that he welcomed the switch. The 49ers had met with Davis to convince him to remain on the team and moved him back to his original position, stating that he would backup Brown and Joe Staley and only play guard if needed.
Following the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, Davis suffered another concussion. This time, it was during a practice as the team was preparing to play the Carolina Panthers. He had not practiced since. Davis played in just three offensive snaps this season, all against the Rams.