NFL

Atlanta Falcons' Calvin Ridley to take a break for mental health

The Falcons' WR has cited a personal matter in his decision to take a step back.

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Atlanta Falcons' Calvin Ridley to take a break for mental health
Mark Brown AFP

The Falcons will have to do without their talented Wide Receiver

Atlanta Falcons' WR Calvin Ridley takes a break from NFL

On Sunday the Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley announced that he needed to "step away from football at this time" in order to prioritize his mental health. Ridley, who was absent for the two games prior to last week's clash with the Miami Dolphins, didn't travel with the Falcons to London for their game against the New York Jets on October 10th. He cited personal reasons for his failure to do so.

"These past few weeks have been very challenging and as much as I'd like to be on the field competing with my teammates, I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing," Ridley said in a statement on Twitter. "This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future."

Ridley's stance, the numbers and the Falcons

On the season so far, Ridley has 31 catches for 281 yards and two touchdowns. The wide receiver has participated in each one of the Falcons' training sessions over the last week and even attended a community event in the city that was hosted by the team. Since he last spoke with the media on October 21st, Ridley has not given any clarity on what he is going through, however, at the time he did offer some insight saying, "I mean, in today's world, me personally, it shouldn't matter, you should mind your business, but in today's world, yeah, I do. To me, if I say it's personal, that means it's personal." He went on to say that he believed he would only need a short time to right himself.

The Falcons will have no choice but to turn to Russell Gage and Olamide Zaccheaus as receivers. Rookie tight end Kyle Pitts will also surely get a look as the Falcons look to improve on the 3-4 start.