Michael Sam stepping away from football for "mental health" reasons

“The last 12 months have been very difficult for me, to the point where I became concerned with my mental health,” Sam said in a series of Twitter posts. “Because of this I am going to step away from the game at this time.”

Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams last year but was later cut. He was signed by the Montreal Alouettes in May. The Alouettes announced Friday that the defensive end “has left the team for personal reasons.” The team said he would be placed on the suspended list.

Sam did not say when he would return, but he thanked the Alouettes and said he hopes “to be back on the field soon.”

Sam made his debut with the Alouettes Aug. 7 but did not record a tackle in the team’s 26-23 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks. Sam also left the team’s training camp in June for personal reasons, the team said.