National Football League
Ex-Georgia QB Stetson Bennett says 2023 absence from Rams linked to mental health
National Football League

Ex-Georgia QB Stetson Bennett says 2023 absence from Rams linked to mental health

Updated May. 28, 2024 8:01 p.m. ET

The Los Angeles Rams selected quarterback Stetson Bennett in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL Draft to potentially become Matthew Stafford's backup, but the two-time college football national champion never saw a snap in his rookie season. He suffered a shoulder injury in preseason activities and was later placed on the non-football injury list; he never returned as the Rams made an unlikely playoff run before losing to the Detroit Lions in the wild-card round.

But now Bennett is back with the Rams, and was asked the question the team never revealed during his absence — what happened?

"I think we're going to keep that in-house," Bennett said on Tuesday at Rams OTAs, saying that the matter fell into the mental health category, according to

Bennett, who's now 26, came to the NFL fresh off winning back-to-back College Football Playoff championships with the Georgia Bulldogs in 2021 and 2022 — becoming a Georgia legend like Stafford in the process.


In 2021, Bennett and the Bulldogs beat Alabama in what would be legendary Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban's final title game. The following season, Bennett threw for 4,128 yards and 27 touchdowns in their undefeated 2022 campaign; he also rushed for 10 touchdowns and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy Voting. Bennett threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns in Georgia's 65-7 annihilation of the TCU Horned Frogs in the title game.

Prior to the glory, Bennett didn't play a snap for Georgia as a walk-on in 2017 and transferred to Jones College for the 2018 season. He then transferred back to Georgia for the 2019 season, getting scattered playing time in 2019 and 2020. Bennett took over for then-starter JT Daniels early in the 2021 season after an injury to Daniels, and started the rest of the way.

Is Stetson Bennett one of the greatest quarterbacks in college football history?

As for this season, Bennett is presumably No. 3 behind Stafford and newly signed veteran Jimmy Garoppolo on the Rams' quarterback depth chart.

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