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Falcons WR Calvin Ridley to 'step away from football' to focus on 'mental wellbeing'

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley announced Sunday he needs to "step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing."

The 26-year-old wideout shared the news via Twitter during the second half of Atlanta's 19-13 loss to Carolina. The Falcons declared Ridley inactive Sunday morning due to a personal matter. It was the second time this month that he was inactive with that designation -- he didn't travel with the team to London for its Week 5 game against the Jets.

Falcons coach Arthur Smith said he learned Sunday morning that Ridley wouldn't be available. There is no timetable for his return.

"I'll let Calvin speak for himself," Smith told reporters. "I'm not going into any details. It's like any other injury."

Quarterback Matt Ryan expressed condolences to his go-to receiver.

"Certainly wish Calvin all the best," Ryan said. "We love him and support him. He's a great friend and a great person. We all support him as he's going through this."

Ridley has 31 receptions for 281 yards and two touchdowns in five games this season. He was a second-team All-Pro in 2020, tallying career highs in catches (90) and yards (1,374) with nine touchdowns. The Falcons selected Ridley with the No. 26 overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

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