Vernon Davis has had many opening-day games, and a divisional matchup on the road was nothing new.
However, Sunday's game offered a window into Davis' life off the field, as the passionate Redskins tight end broke down on the sideline after a magical 48-yard touchdown reception that put the Redskins in front early against the Philadelphia Eagles.
"The tears started when I crossed the goal line. ...I've never had to deal with something like that," said Davis to Redskins.com on Monday. "I've never had to go out and play after losing a loved one. ...Some of the guys were asking me, 'Hey, are you going to play?' and I just knew I had to go out there and do the best I could."
Davis' grandfather, Lynwood Smith, passed away Saturday, leaving Davis in a position of uncertainty heading into the Week 1 contest. Davis said he had to "quickly recover," as he knew his role in the offense was of utmost importance without Jordan Reed, who was sidelined due to a concussion.
"It was super important to get myself going, get that first touchdown of the year under my belt," Davis said when asked about the importance of his production without Reed. "Without Jordan there it limits our offense. We need him back."
Davis performed well in Reed's absence, totaling four receptions (on seven targets) for 59 yards and the aforementioned highlight score.
One of the instrumental leaders within the Washington locker room and on the field, Davis took to Instagram to celebrate his grandfather's life.