Stetson Bennett's Return to the NFL: A Focus on Mental Wellness
Stetson Bennett, the quarterback who was anticipated to play a backup role for the Los Angeles Rams in the 2023 season, has marked his return to the NFL with a newfound focus on mental wellness. After taking a hiatus from football without participating in any games during the season, Bennett's comeback story is not just a narrative about physical readiness but an important commentary on the significance of mental health in sports.

Bennett's Time Off

The decision to take a break from football was neither minor nor straightforward for Bennett. With expectations of contributing to the Rams as a backup quarterback, his sudden pause from playing caught many by surprise. This hiatus came at a critical juncture in his career, sparked by his realization of the need to prioritize his mental health. The pressures of transitioning from college football stardom to the professional league, coupled with the immense expectations placed upon his shoulders, inevitably took a toll. The Los Angeles Rams' head coach and general manager publicly supported Bennett’s decision to step back from the game, recognizing the paramount importance of his health and well-being. This support underscores a growing awareness within the sports industry of the need to address mental health challenges with the same seriousness as physical injuries.

Acknowledging Mental Health in Sports

Bennett’s situation has shone a spotlight on the evolving approach towards mental wellness in the realm of professional sports. Les Snead, the Rams' general manager, hinted at burnout as a significant obstacle Bennett faced, following his celebrated college career. This acknowledgment sends a powerful message about the necessity of managing mental and emotional well-being with as much care as physical fitness. Upon his return to the Rams for offseason workouts, Bennett exhibited a rejuvenated energy and a sharper focus. His time away from the sport, seemingly, has endowed him with a robust set of tools for coping with the pressures of professional football. The suspension of Jimmy Garoppolo, a key player for the Rams, has unexpectedly opened the door for Bennett to seize new playing opportunities, further emphasizing the unpredictable nature of sports careers and the importance of readiness.

Emphasizing Well-being

Sean McVay, the Rams' head coach, has expressed his admiration for Bennett's renewed vigor. McVay's comments not only highlight Bennett’s personal growth through his hiatus but also reflect a broader, more compassionate approach towards player management within the team. "Sean McVay hinted at the complexity of Bennett’s situation, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing his health and well-being over the game," captures the essence of the Rams' supportive environment. This progressive stance by the Rams’ management on player welfare represents a significant step forward in addressing the mental health needs of athletes. It is a clear recognition that the path to excellence in sports is not solely through physical strength and strategy but also through maintaining a healthy, balanced mental state.

Bennett's Journey: A Beacon for Mental Health Advocacy

Bennett’s publicized journey through mental health challenges and his subsequent comeback is emblematic of the growing recognition of such issues in the world of sports. It serves as a pivotal case study in how teams and sports organizations might better support their athletes, not simply as players but as individuals navigating the immense pressures that come with professional competition. "McVay, in particular, praised Bennett's renewed energy and focus," reinforcing that the young quarterback’s decision to prioritize his mental health has not only been beneficial for him personally but has also added value to the team. This balance of personal wellness and professional commitment is what sports organizations worldwide strive to achieve within their rosters.


Stetson Bennett’s return to football, after a year focused on his mental health, underscores the importance of addressing psychological well-being in professional sports. The supportive stance taken by the Rams' management illustrates a progressive approach to player welfare, acknowledging the multifaceted nature of athletes' well-being. Bennett’s experiences and comeback are not just a testament to his resilience but also a beacon of hope for other athletes, emphasizing that prioritizing mental health is a strength, not a weakness, in the high-stakes world of professional sports.