DENVER | In between the magnificence and the migraines, Terrell Davis’ NFL voyage was bookended by two bone-crushing hits that came to define a career remembered as much for its brevity as its brilliance.
The first hit harkened his arrival, the second one his departure.
Davis was just another lost-in-the-shuffle rookie back in 1995 filled with doubts when the Denver Broncos traveled to Tokyo for an exhibition game against the San Francisco 49ers.
“Let’s just say if I spoke better Japanese I wouldn’t be here,” said Davis, who contemplated quitting football right then and there. “I’m telling you, I was this close to walking out of there because I looked at everything around me and I just had no shot of making the team. I was a sixth-round draft pick, I was seventh on the depth chart, I wasn’t getting any reps in practice, I had my coach constantly on me. And it just didn’t feel like there was any way of me making the team.”
He told himself he could put his degree in consumer economics from the University of Georgia to use instead as he pondered hailing a cab and catching his own flight home.
“Thank God I didn’t,” Davis said. “And then I made the big hit.”
Summoned to cover a kickoff the next night, the rookie on nobody’s radar burst downfield and delivered a savage hit on returner Tyrone Drakeford that left fellow Hall-of-Famer-to-be Shannon…
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