Falcons' Calvin Ridley steps away from football to focus on mental health

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Calvin Ridley steps away from Falcons to focus on mental health originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Atlanta Falcons star wide receiver Calvin Ridley is stepping away from football to focus on his "mental wellbeing," he announced in a statement on Twitter 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," Ridley's statement read. "This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future.

"I want to thank my teammates, the entire Atlanta Falcons organization, our great fans, my friends, and my family for all of their support during this time."

Ridley was inactive for Sunday's matchup with the Carolina Panthers due to a personal matter.

The Falcons wideout also didn't travel with the team to London for their Week 5 game against the New York Jets due to a personal matter. Following a bye week, Ridley returned against the Miami Dolphins in Week 7.

Shortly after Ridley made his announcement, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas tweeted a message of support.

In his fourth NFL season, Ridley has recorded 31 receptions for 281 yards and two touchdowns over five games.