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Rams’ Stetson Bennett confirmed the rookie year’s absence was mental health-related

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Los Angeles Rams Quarterback Stetson Bennett has returned to the team after taking a year off to deal with his mental health, he confirmed to reporters after practice this week.

The former Georgia star, who won back-to-back national championships with the Bulldogs before being drafted by the Rams in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL draft, was back on the practice field this week.

Stetson Bennett, #13 of the Los Angeles Rams, participates in drills during OTAs on May 21, 2024 at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

“It’s great to be playing football again, I love that,” Bennett said on Tuesday.

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The Georgia native participated in the Rams’ offseason last year, played during the preseason and was expected to serve as Matthew Staffords backup. However, just before the start of the regular season, he was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list.

“I was at home. As far as what led up to that, what happened and all that, I think we’ll keep that at home,” he said, but declined to elaborate. “But it was good. I went back home, and thank God Les (Snead) and coach (Sean) McVay and everyone involved allowed me to do that.

Quarterback Stetson Bennett #13 of the Los Angeles Rams passes against the Denver Broncos in the first quarter of a preseason game at Empower Field at Mile High on August 26, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

RAMS GM SAYS STETSON BENNETT NEEDS ‘A BREAK FROM THE GAME’ DURING ROOKIE SEASON

Bennett said he expected to eventually return to the team, making the decision after several conversations with Rams brass. He admitted it was a difficult decision, but “one we felt was necessary at the time.”

Bennett was then asked directly if the reason he resigned fell under the “mental health umbrella.”

“Yes, I would say so,” he confirmed.

Stetson Bennett, #13, surrenders to running back Josh Wallace, #30, during OTAs on May 21, 2024 at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

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Bennett, 26, is again vying for the backup role, this time alongside the veteran signal caller Jimmy Garoppolo, which was signed in March. However, Garoppolo will miss the first two games of the season after being suspended for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

“It was a pleasure working with him,” offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said of Bennett. “Obviously I’m not going to go into too much detail, but he’s in a good place and he’s here. He comes to work every day focused with the intention of getting better and that’s all you can ask these guys. If their intent is right, which Stetson’s is right now, then that’s all you can ask for and it certainly shows.”

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