Rams’ Stetson Bennett sheds more light on mysterious absence that sidelined him for 2023 season

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Stetson Bennett’s mysterious absence from the Los Angeles Rams last season was an underlying storyline as the only real update was the former Georgia star saying it was mental health related.

Bennett declined to talk about the specifics in May when he appeared at Rams practice.

He opened up a little bit more about his time on the reserve/non-football injury list in an interview on the “Unreserved with TJ Callaway” podcast. He said he was “home.”

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Stetson Bennett 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)

“I went home for a minute. Kind of had to clear my head. I don’t know, it was a bunch of everything all at once it felt like,” Bennett said.

“Just needed some fresh air. And, you know, the Rams and all that were gracious enough to let that happen… I just needed a little bit of a break.”

Bennett went from winning back-to-back national championships with the Bulldogs to being arrested for public intoxication days after to being selected by the Rams in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

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Stetson Bennett vs Broncos

Quarterback Stetson Bennett of the Los Angeles Rams warms up before a preseason game against the Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on Aug. 26, 2023, in Denver. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

He said in May it was “great to get back to football, it’s what I love.” He added that he had expected to return to the team eventually, and made the decision after several talks with Rams brass, admitting the decision was difficult, but “one we thought necessary at the time.”

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

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

Stetson Bennett at OTAs

Stetson Bennett of the Los Angeles Rams drops back to pass during OTAs on June 4, 2024, in Thousand Oaks, California. (Ric Tapia/Getty Images)

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“It’s been a pleasure working with him,” offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur said of Bennett in May. “I’m not going to get too much into specifics obviously, but he’s in a good place and he is out here… He’s come to work every single day focused with the intent of getting better and that’s all you can ask these guys. If their intent is right, which Stetson’s is right now, that’s all you can ask and it’s definitely showing.”

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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