It started with a stunning tweet, one that has since been removed. Arizona Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu indicated that he contemplated suicide. We now have more of the story.
Mathieu told Fox Sports Arizona that following his well-documented troubles with marijuana and being kicked out of LSU, he considered taking his own life while in jail for possession after police found the drug at his apartment back in 2012.
“I’m sitting in that jail cell thinking, ‘I don’t know if I want to go back out there and face the music,’” Mathieu said. “I didn’t know how I was going to commit suicide in the cell, but that was the direction my life was heading ...
“Believe it or not, my cellmates were encouraging me, telling me I was a good football player, telling me I don’t need to be thinking about this. That’s probably why I really didn’t do it, but there was an actual moment where I was thinking about, and I’ll never forget that feeling.”
But now Mathieu has turned that feeling on its head. He said he plans to help other people who have had similar feelings at their lowest point.
"I want to start a foundation called Second Chance," he said. "I was given a second chance, so I want to reach out to different groups of people. It would be nice to give that opportunity to others.
"People go through a lot of things. They can be every-day personal things, not just suicide. I just want to reach out and use this platform for something positive and be an inspiration to people who want to see me as an inspiration.”
Mathieu is coming off a wildly successful rookie season but one that ended early with suffering torn ACL and LCL ligaments in his knee. Will he be ready for the start of the season? That's the big question, and despite recent reports that Mathieu will, the fact is that it's still unknown. The rehab has been tough, Mathieu said, but no tougher than the difficult road he faced back in 2012.
"It's a long process, and it's going to continue to be a long process," he said. "I just try to come to work every day and stay on top of my rehab — just continue to push myself. I don't try to get too down about it; I don't try to get too excited when my knee is feeling good. I just take it as it comes."
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