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Former first-round pick out of Alabama and lead receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, Calvin Ridley, is stepping away from football indefinitely.
Announced Sunday, the receiver cited having to work on his mental health as motive for his decision.
Ridley had been absent from Week 8’s matchup against the Carolina Panthers due to a “personal matter” and previously missed a Week 5 game against the New York Jets for the same reason.
The wideout released a statement on Twitter, detailing his decision, which came as a surprise to many.
“… I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing,” announced Ridley.
Ridley was tied for fifth most receiving yards in the NFL last season (1,374) and caught nine touchdowns for Atlanta. After Julio Jones’ departure, fans in Atlanta anticipated a breakout season from Ridley in 2021 as the lone top target for quarterback Matt Ryan.
Russell Gage, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tajae Shape and Olamide Zaccheaus remain as Atlanta’s top targets moving forward, with 2021 first-round tight end Kyle Pitts also in the mix.
Stay tuned with OutKick as the situation surrounding Ridley develops.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela