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Vernon Davis talks about the Kam Chancellor hit

I don’t think that turned his career south, but the debate will continue.

Former San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis returned to his hometown of Washington, D.C. prior to last season, and the reunion has worked out pretty well. After fairly brutal seasons in 2014 and 2015 with the 49ers and Broncos, Davis seemed to bounce back a bit with Washington. In 2016, he finished the season with 44 receptions for 583 yards and two touchdowns. They weren’t great numbers, but they were his best since 2013.

Recently, Davis spent time with some kids as part of a mentorship program. He took them shopping at a mall, and did a Q&A. During the latter, he got a question about the biggest hit he has endured during his career. It’s no surprise he talked about the hit he took from Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor. Here’s what he had to say about it. I’ve posted vide at the bottom.

“It was crazy, man. He just hit me so hard, I just got up, I didn’t know where I was going. I kind of lost my memory a little bit. I just got up like this, my face was just like aaagh. I just didn’t know what happened. I was like, ‘Wow I just got hit by a very big man.’ He hit me hard. You know what he told me? He said, ‘Shake it off. It’s all right. Shake it off.’ I’m like, ‘I can’t remember anything. You tell me to shake it off? How about you go shake it off, buddy?’ That was quite a hit. That was probably the hardest hit I had.”

During Davis’ remaining time with the 49ers, one regular topic of conversation was if that started the decline of Davis. The hit took place in Week 16 of the 2012 season. He had a down stretch even leading up to that game. In the four games leading up to Week 16, he had four receptions for 29 yards. He had one reception for 27 yards against Seattle, and one reception for five yards against Arizona in the regular season finale. He had a 44-yard catch against Green Bay to open the playoffs, but then had a combined 11 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown in the NFC title game and Super Bowl.

The following season, 2013, Davis had 52 receptions for 850 yards and a career high 13 touchdowns. There were plenty of inconsistencies in his performances that year, but hasn’t inconsistency been one of his hallmarks? He was an immensely gifted physical talent, but his hands and that infernal leaping seemed to leave him open to too much inconsistency. He had that problem before Kam Chancellor blasted him, and he had it after. He went downhill in a hurry in 2014 and 2015, but again, I don’t think Chancellor’s hit was the reason.

He’s in the twilight of his career, with maybe a couple more seasons at most. I don’t expect a lot out of him in Washington, but I will be rooting for a solid close to his career. As absurd as he could be at times (the forceful defense of A.J. Jenkins), he remained an entertaining option on and off the field.