Falcons’ Calvin Ridley to step away from football for mental health

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley announced Sunday he needs to step away from football to focus on his mental health.

He made the announcement over Twitter after he was ruled inactive for Sunday’s 19-13 loss against the Carolina Panthers due to a personal matter. It marked the second missed game this season for Ridley.

“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. “This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future.

“I want to thank my teammates, the entire Atlanta Falcons organization, our great fans, my friends, and my family for all of their support during this time.”

Ridley also didn’t travel to London for the Oct. 10 game due to personal reasons, a 27-20 win against the New York Jets, but returned after the bye week for last week’s 30-28 win over the Miami Dolphins.

Ridley, 26, caught his second touchdown pass of the season in that game. He has 31 catches for 281 yards in five games for the Falcons (3-4) so far this season.

Ridley had career bests of 90 catches and 1,374 yards last season when he supplanted the since-departed Julio Jones as the team’s top wideout.

Overall, Ridley has 248 receptions for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns in 49 NFL games (35 starts).

Tajae Sharpe started in Ridley’s place.

The Falcons also listed running back Wayne Gallman, linebacker Dorian Etheridge, offensive lineman Josh Andrews and defensive linemen John Cominsky and Ta’Quon Graham as inactive vs. the Panthers (3-4).

–Field Level Media

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