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Published on May 30, 2024
Los Angeles Rams' Stetson Bennett Opens Up About Mental Health Break and NFL ComebackSource: Wikipedia/Bobak Ha'Eri, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Los Angeles Rams' QB Stetson Bennett opened up about his mental health break from the NFL last year, revealing that he stepped away from the glitz and grind of pro football to recharge, WABE reports. The Georgia Bulldog gridiron legend, who nabbed two national titles and was subsequently drafted by the Rams, took leave before the '23 season commenced, returning to his roots for some much-needed R&R.

"I was home," Bennett said in a statement, keeping the specific drivers of his sabbatical close to the vest. "I went back home, and thank goodness Les (Snead) and Coach McVay allowed me to do that." The young athlete, now 26, continuously touched base with the Rams' coaches during his time off and maintained that strapping on the cleats again was always part of the agenda. Bennett acknowledged the initial butterflies upon his return but declared things have been smoothing out with each passing day, as reported by WABE.

Brett Rypien struggled last season as Stafford's stand-in, prompting the Rams to give Carson Wentz a shot, although he too only took significant snaps in a regular-season coda. Bennett is now back on the field, gearing up for another shot at the spotlight while longtime NFL veteran Jimmy Garoppolo temporarily rides the pine due to a suspension related to a therapeutic use exemption blunder. Bennet's drive to play the game is apparent, "It's been great to get back to football," he told WABE, "It’s what I love."

Circumstances have shaped a narrative where Bennett's potential resurgence looms as an interesting subplot for the Rams’ season. Garoppolo is expected to miss two games from the get-go, which might just hand Bennett an opening to show that his time off was more than a breather – it could have been a complete reboot of an athlete keen to leave his mark. With the pigskin in his hand once more, Bennett is undoubtedly aiming to turn personal challenges into a triumph that resonates on the gridiron. He has yet to see regular season action but stands ready, hopeful that his mental health focus can translate to on-field success.