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What effect will Anthony Davis’ return have on the locker room?

On the first day of players reporting to training camp the San Francisco 49ers had a flurry of news to start the season off with a bang. Previously retired OL Anthony Davis has been reinstated and NT Ian Williams has been placed on the NFI and is done for the year. How Davis acclimates to the locker room with a lot of new faces on the roster and staff is a story that will keep developing.

Ian Rapoport tweeted that the 49ers are not using Davis as trade bait but want him on the roster as long as the locker room welcomes him back. Honestly, there is no reason that the locker room shouldn’t be open to his return at this point. Davis retired from football during the offseason, and even though the timing wasn’t the best for the organization, it’s doubtful that players who were on the team at the time are holding a grudge for that.

The most important factor is Davis knowing he is coming in to compete, which he has tweeted extensively about. There shouldn’t be any animosity if a player comes in and works hard for a spot. NaVorro Bowman elaborated on Davis earning the respect of his teammates.

Well, you know, it’s up to him. I think him leaving the game was him personally making the decision on himself, but I think for him to come back it shows that he misses it, that he wants it. This is not an easy game, so when you make the decision to come back it shows that you still love the game and hopefully he comes back willing to work and just contribute the way that I know he can and the way the coaches know he can, so I’m excited about it.

Antoine Bethea had similar comments when asked if, as a leader on the team, he will have to help mend relationships with Davis and the team.

I don’t think so. I think we have a solid locker room. O line, they have leaders, in every room, so like I said, we have a solid locker room so I think when he comes back, everything is going to be fine.

It’s nearly impossible that Davis would come into camp after a year off expecting some sort of special treatment. Only then would there be a possibility of conflict.