News broke during the Atlanta Falcons’ Week 8 matchup against the Carolina Panthers that receiver Calvin Rildey would be stepping away from football to address his mental health. Prior to the Panthers game, Ridley missed the game in London against the New York Jets and was announced as inactive before Sunday’s game.
Ridley released the following statement on Sunday afternoon via his Twitter account:
On Friday afternoon, the Falcons announced that they have placed Ridley on the reserve-NFI (non-football injury) list. This is designation is used for players who are unable to practice as a result of conditions unrelated to football. Per league rules, a player placed on the NFI list has to miss a minimum of three weeks.
It’s commendable for someone who is dealing with mental health issues to step back and address them. Although it’s currently unclear when Ridley may return, we know it won’t be for a minimum of three weeks, and he will return when the time is right for him.
With Ridley being placed on the NFI list, the Falcons roster now sits at 52. In his absence, Russell Gage and Tajae Sharpe will be looked to in the receiving game to step up.