Eagles' Brandon Brooks Explains Anxiety Kept Him from Playing vs. SeahawksNovember 25, 2019
Philadelphia Eagles guard Brandon Brooks addressed his exit from Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks, saying in a statement on Twitter that his anxiety made him too physically ill to continue playing:
"I'd like to address what happened yesterday. I woke up, and did my typical routine of morning vomiting. It didn't go away like it normally does, but I figured it would calm down once I got to the stadium. It did, but I felt exhausted. The nausea and vomiting came back until I left the field, and tried everything I could to get back for my teammates but just wasn't able to do it.
"Make no mistake I'm NOT ashamed or embarrassed by this nor what I go through daily. I've had this under control for a couple years, and had a set back yesterday. The only thing I'm upset about his that when my team needed me, I wasn't able to be out there with and for them. Lastly, I appreciate the support of my coaches, teammates and fans. It doesn't go unnoticed.”
Brooks has been open regarding his issues with anxiety, which have cropped up at several points during his NFL career. He was officially diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in 2016 and has been undergoing therapy. This is the first time he has been forced to leave a game since beginning treatment.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said on 94WIP on Monday (h/t Pro Football Talk):
"I'll just say this, I'm not going to get into a lot of detail with that. Because, listen, this is a real life issue. This is not a football issue with Brandon. This is a real life issue that he has come out and publicly acknowledged and kind of shared his story a few years back. It's something that he's dealing with each and every day of his life. You never really know what triggers it. We're here to support him, we love him. It is unfortunate that it happened, but it's something that he deals with every single day. We're just going to continue to support him."
Brooks' absence left the Eagles without the entire right side of their offensive line as right tackle Lane Johnson sat out with an injury. The Eagles managed just nine points—six on a garbage-time drive—as the offense turned in its worst performance of the season.
Brooks made the Pro Bowl in 2017 and 2018. He said his desire for on-field perfection forces him into a state of panic.
"What I mean by anxiety condition, not nervousness or fear of the game," Brooks said in 2018, per ESPN's Tim McManus. "I have like an obsession with the game. It's an unhealthy obsession right now, and I'm working with team doctors and things to get everything straightened out and getting the help that I needed."
The Eagles have not indicated whether Brooks will be available for next Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.