Calvin Ridley is one of the NFL's most talented young receivers, but his 2021 season has been below expectations. The Atlanta Falcons are not good, admittedly, but with Matt Ryan throwing the ball, everyone figured Ridley would put up big numbers in losing efforts. In five games played, Ridley has caught 31 passes for 281 yards and only two touchdowns.
Ridley missed one game earlier this season due to "personal reasons" and didn't travel with the Falcons to play in London. The team and player gave no explanation past that. Ridley was a last-second scratch before today's game against the Carolina Panthers, once again due to "personal reasons."
Ridley released a statement on Sunday announcing he was stepping away from football for the time being to focus on his mental well-being.
It doesn't seem like it's a permanent arrangement, since he said he needs to step away "at this time." So Ridley isn't retiring. But it is a huge surprise. He's only 26 years-old and with the way he can run routes has nearly another decade of quality football ahead of him if he so desires.
Here's hoping Ridley can figure things out. He's a great player and the Falcons are much worse off without his talents.