Brandon Brooks tackles his anxiety issues head on

Ed Benkin
November 26, 2019 - 7:26 pm
Philadelphia Eagles offensive guard Brandon Brooks (79).

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Brandon Brooks is on the road to recovery from his latest bout with anxiety. His biggest regret was not being on the field for his teammates last Sunday.

The Eagles' offensive lineman had an issue with his anxiety for the first time since 2016. Brooks tried to stay in last Sunday's game, but was finally forced to leave for good in the first half. 

Brooks is back on track to return to the field this week as he continues to put his latest bout of anxiety behind him.     

"I'm in a much better place," said Brooks. "The biggest thing I feel terrible about is when my team needed me, I wasn't there. I had a handle on it for 2 1/2 years now. I guess the silver lining is I'm definitely on the right track. Moving forward, I've got a plan in place to ensure that a situation like this doesn't happen for the remainder of the season."

Brooks has received high praise for his decision to open up about his issue. Many people who deal with anxiety are afraid to speak up about their situation. 

Related: Eagles' Brooks feels the love after opening up about mental health

Brooks realized he had the opportunity to help people as a public figure and the veteran guard has received support from fans across the globe.

"I don't do this to have people feel sorry for me or anything like that," Brooks said. "The reason I try to share what I go through and my story is for people who are out there that are scared to get help or feel embarrassed or ashamed to go through any type of mental illness."

In addition to fans, Brooks has received plenty of support from his teammates. Players such as Brandon Graham not only offered support for Brooks, but also talked about the respect they have for him as Brooks continues to deal with his anxiety.

"He's accepted," said Graham. "This is a part of who he is. He's been having this stuff under control, I know that's a hard thing to do. It shows how courageous he is as a person. I'm behind him 100% as a person."

Fletcher Cox also talked about his support for Brooks. 

When Brooks left the game against Seattle, Cox stepped up in his role as a team leader and tried to help his teammate.

"I feel so bad for him," Cox said. "I went over and talked to him and asked if there was anything I could do. I wouldn't say I know what he is going through, but I felt so bad for Brandon and I know how bad he wanted to be out there. Brandon is an important piece to this team."

Brooks seems to have cleared his latest hurdle in his anxiety battle and expects to be on the practice field this week. The fact that Brooks will likely play football again on Sunday is important to the Eagles playoff chances. 

It's secondary to Brooks' battle with anxiety and the impact it has had on others dealing with a similar situation.

"I never really thought it would have such a big impact," said Brooks. "I just kind of want to tell the truth and share my story and for the one or two people it could help is all I ever really wanted to do with it."