Calvin Ridley 'more motivated than ever' at Jaguars camp: 'Ready to get back whatever I lost'

Calvin Ridley is out to prove he's still one of the top receivers in the NFL.

After missing action for 640 days, Ridley has returned to the field with the Jacksonville Jaguars to open training camp.

"I want to get back to doing what I do, because I love football," Ridley told Jeff Howe of The Athletic on Wednesday. "I just want. That's what I'm here to do."

Ridley stepped away from football to focus on his health -- mental and physical -- after Week 6 of the 2021 season. He never returned to the Atlanta Falcons.

The following offseason, Ridley was suspended for at least one year after gambling on football. The wideout admitted he was in a "dark place" when he placed the bets that wiped out a year of his prime. But he said, "Everything is better, and I'm back to everything."

Ridley knows there will be questions after missing so much time, but he's out to show rust is for broken beaters, not sleek sports cars like himself.

"Like everyone says, I haven't played football in two years," Ridley said. "But even when I did play, I know I was a very dominant and very explosive player. Right now, I'm more motivated than ever and ready to get back whatever I lost. I'm around a bunch of great teammates, great coaches, a great facility. I feel the energy. I just want to continue to build and build and build. I love football, man. I'm not here just for the money and all that. I'm here because I love football."

The Jaguars acquired Ridley in a trade last season, and after his reinstatement by the NFL, the wideout has become a wow-inducing factor during practices.

Playing with Trevor Lawrence, alongside Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Evan Engram and others, Ridley could be the alpha who puts the Jags offense over the top.

"I think it's a perfect spot for me," Ridley said. "I had an opportunity to choose from a bunch of different teams, and that's why I chose this one. I felt like it was Florida, back home. I liked the roster a lot -- Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, Evan Engram, (Travis) Etienne, Trevor, (Jamal) Agnew. I love the roster.

"I also thought they have a great chance to go far, and I want to be a part of that. I came from Alabama. I'm about winning. I'm not a cheater. I'm about winning games. I want to go to the playoffs, and obviously I want to go to the Super Bowl and win. I think this organization has what it takes to do that."

Related Content