Vikings defensive back Akayleb Evans continues to speak candidly about his mental health, setting an example as an inspiring role model in the league.
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Akayleb Evans is not shying away from discussing weighty topics, as he recently tweeted an inspiring message that hit on the importance of maintaining one’s mental health.
Last season, the 2022 fourth-round pick played in 10 games before suffering multiple concussions and landing on injured reserve for the remainder of the year.
Evans spoke about fighting against his “mental demons” in a touching Instagram post this past January, and in that post he noted that he was leaving social media for a brief period to help himself heal.
Now, Evans is back online with an encouraging update on his physical and mental situation. He wrote on Twitter that he feels “better than ever” heading into the 2023 season and is looking forward to “making plays” and “being a leader” in Minnesota.
Vikings DB Akayleb Evans posts an important reminder to take care of your mental health
A round of applause for Evans, who is helping to dismantle social stigmas by being brave and vulnerable. He’s only 23 years old, but with his mindset, he’s already developing into an admirable leader and role model, and Minnesota should be proud to have someone like him on the roster.
Evans’ experiences remind us that not all success stories have to be the Super Bowl-winning kind — yes, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs have every right to celebrate their championship, and Tom Brady should absolutely feel pride counting all his trophies, but let’s pour one out for the little victories.
The less-talked-about wins like the growth of Jaguars wideout Calvin Ridley, who suffered from mental health issues during his time on the Falcons and is now ready to take the league by storm. Don’t forget his past — he shouldn’t just be pigeonholed as a gambler.
Other NFL players, like former Dolphins running back Ricky Williams, and former Broncos wideout Brandon Marshall, had previously pioneered an effort to raise awareness for mental health, and in this modern age, those issues are more prevalent than ever.
So once again, kudos to Akayleb Evans for speaking so candidly about his experiences with mental health in the NFL. Messages like his leave a more profound impact than any season win or Lombardi Trophy ever could.