Former Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn made sure to call Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley after helping lead the Dallas Cowboys to a wild win on Sunday night over the Minnesota Vikings.
Ridley then took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon.
“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,” he wrote. “This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future.”
Ridley is in his fourth season in the league with the Falcons, and he’s coming off a career-best year where he put up 1,374 yards with nine touchdowns.
Quinn was hired as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator after he was fired by the Falcons midway through last season, which ended a six-year stint leading the organization.
Quinn said Monday that he was very proud of Ridley and other athletes — including Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst, who is a suicide survivor — who speak up when they have mental health struggles.
“Mental health issues, it’s hard to read,” Quinn said, . “You can see when someone sprains their ankle, but you can’t tell oftentimes when someone’s hurting on the inside. So having the courage to speak up and do that for guys like Dak and others who have done that around the league, or tight end Hayden Hurst, and now Cal, I certainly admire them. Because by doing that, it may just point out the one person who needs that kind of help.
“A younger person looking up to [him] like, ‘Hey, if it’s OK for Calvin to speak out and get help, I’m going to go and talk to somebody, too.'”