Browns LB Tae Davis says he was absolutely crushed after his great aunt and uncle tested positive for coronavirus ... and tells TMZ Sports their battle inspired him to step up and give back in a huge way.
"At the time when I first heard of it, I was devastated," Davis tells us. "It was just like a blow to me. I just remember just kinda freezing up, not really saying anything and just my mind went racing."
Davis tells us his family members played a pivotal role in his journey to becoming an NFL player ... and following the news, he knew he had the resources to do whatever he can to help those in need.
We're told the 23-year-old donated 500 meals to Meals on Wheels with his grandmother in mind ... knowing there are so many elderly people in need of food during the global pandemic.
When we asked Davis how it felt to give back during the crisis, he points out his loving family kept him focused on helping out whenever he could ... especially after making it big time.
"Without them, they all played a part of me being here today. As a kid, I always felt that if I was ever to have some type of platform, I would try to give back and help out any way I could and this was just the perfect opportunity to reach out and just try to help," Davis says.
As for his great aunt and uncle, we're told they're on the up and up and appreciate any well wishes their way.