NASHVILLE, Tenn. – 215 days later, Corey Davis got the ball back.
And on Wednesday, as he walked around the practice fields at Saint Thomas Sports Park clutching it after the Titans practiced against the Buccaneers, the Titans receiver could hardly believe how it all transpired.
"It's dope," Davis said with a smile. "I got my baby back."
The ball in question? The football Davis caught for his first career touchdown in the team's playoff game against the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., on January 13, 2018.
Davis, of course, thought he'd never see it again after it was tossed into the crowd that night at Gillette Stadium – 1,093 miles from Nashville -- by teammate Quinton Spain.
He'd beaten then-Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler for the acrobatic, 15-yard first quarter score, catching the ball with only his left hand in the corner of the end zone. Davis tossed the ball into the air and began celebrating with his teammates as Spain located the ball, and then a Titans fan. He then gave it away.
After practice on Wednesday, Davis got it back. While standing near the fence line, he heard someone call his name. And he gave him the football.
"The dude called my name, and when I went over there he said, 'This is the ball from New England'," Davis said. "I was like, 'Man, I've been looking for this.' I was so hyped that night, I wasn't really thinking. I just threw the ball in the air and started celebrating with my teammates. And Quinton gave it to a fan in a Titans jersey. So when the guy showed up with it today, hell yeah I was surprised."
Davis said at the time he was cool with Spain rewarding the Titans fan with the football. But later he thought it would've been neat to have the ball from his first career NFL touchdown.
The fan on Wednesday showed Davis a video from that night in Foxborough with him holding the football, which proved to him it was the real thing. The football Davis held in his hand after practice also had a Titans logo on it, with a number 8 (Marcus Mariota's number) written in a silver Sharpie.
After practice, Davis made sure to show the football to Spain. The two laughed as Spain reached to grab it back.
"That's the ball?," Spain said. "OK, give to me."
"Get out of here," a smiling Davis told Spain, keeping him at a distance.
Davis, who had a big day in practice against the Buccaneers and was praised afterward by Mariota and head coach Mike Vrabel, said he's thankful to the fan for the gesture, and for making the effort to bring it to him. He said he'd like to give him something in return, but the fan had left the premises before Davis had a chance. Davis looked for the fan on the fence line, but couldn't spot him.
"I never thought I'd see this ball again, so it's awesome, man," Davis said. "This was my very first TD, so it's special. There's some good people out there. That was so nice of him.
"I haven't really made a habit of keeping things like that, but this one is special. I'm not sure what I am going to do with it yet. But it's just cool to see someone doing something so nice."
The Titans take the field for a joint training camp practice with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones Gary Glenn)