Colts release injured Vontae Davis a week after benching corner for poor play

A week after the Colts placed franchise quarterback Andrew Luck on injured reserve, another of the team's best players appeared set to join him. Cornerback Vontae Davis needs season-ending surgery on a lingering groin injury, reports Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star. But as of Thursday morning that is no longer the organization's problem because the Colts released Davis, who was in the final year of his contract.

The news comes days after coach Chuck Pagano benched Davis for poor play -- which he said had nothing to do with Davis' health. On Wednesday, Davis told reporters his side of the story.

"It was a disagreement [between me and the team] because I feel like I was demoted because of my health instead of my ability," Davis said. "That's the disagreement. The agreement is I take full responsibility."

Davis said he felt "disrespected" by how the Colts handled the situation.

"It should be more about the respect," the cornerback said. "I'm a professional. I've been in [the league] long enough. When I look at the situation, I feel like there was no respect. Knowing Chuck, I figured it would come from him. It really bothered me."

Davis, who was the league's second-best cornerback in 2014 behind only Chris Harris Jr., according to Pro Football Focus, has struggled in recent seasons. He was 24th in 2015, 113th last season and 84th in five appearances this season. Pierre Desir, who replaced Davis against the Texans, ranks 100th.

The Dolphins drafted Davis in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft and traded him to the Colts before the 2012 season. Meanwhile, the Colts host one of the NFL's best teams Sunday when the Steelers come to town. And they'll do it without Davis, Luck, 2017 first-round pick Malik Hooker and 12 other players who are currently on injured reserve.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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