This month, the NFL is bringing attention to mental health.
In a new series of campaign launched by the league on Tuesday, former 49ers and Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson in leading the charge for Mental health Awareness Month with a series of videos which will attempt to “reach players, fans and the general public about prioritizing mental health and wellness.”
Of the players scheduled to appear throughout the video series is Chargers star defensive end Joey Bosa, alongside Raiders defensive lineman Soloman Thomas, Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst, and Bucs offensive guard Ali Marpet.
In the two-minute video announcing the video series, Bosa discusses the importance of working out your brain to become mentally and emotionally healthy in the same manner that players workout the rest of their muscles to be in the best shape possible.
“For a long time, I was only focused on staying physically-strong. Your brain is a muscle, too, and it’s something that you really have to practice.”
The 2020 season was a rough one for the Big Bear. At one point in the week leading up to the Chargers’ Week 5 contest against the Saints, Bosa told media members that he’d never dealt with so many injuries at the same time. He dealt with a pair of concussions — the second of which knocked him out for the team’s final two games — along with a tricep injury that stayed with him all year. The games he missed were the most since the 2018 season when he missed nine games to begin the season.
A year like that can do some damage on a player’s mental state. Bosa is one of the best players at his position and he probably expected to have the best season of his career in 2020 until the injury bug struck over and over again. One concussion is bad enough. Two in one season is extremely serious and you have to hope it doesn’t become a recurring theme for the rest of his career.
All of this takes a mental and physical toll on a player. Bosa is taking the needed time to take a step back and address how his recent struggles have been affecting him instead of repressing them down to a place where they could cause even more damage to his mental state and I think that’s fantastic. The NFL likes to roll out plenty of campaigns for health and other important causes, but this one just might be my favorite.
I’m extremely proud of Bosa and the rest of the players involved and I think you should be, too.