Jordan Poyer admits he was in a rough place after the Buffalo Bills lost to the Houston Texans in the playoffs in 2020.
The star safety was so upset with how he played and how the team lost in such heartbreaking fashion that he spent the next five weeks drinking every day. In an emotional social media post, Poyer said he was stressed out about his family situation and contract, and turned to alcohol to help cope, but has since turned his life around.
Poyer Opens up About Major Life Change
Saturday marked a big anniversary for Poyer. In an Instagram post, he shared that March 13 marked exactly one year since he made a life-changing decision.
“A year ago today (3/13/2020) I decided to quit drinking,” he wrote. “Not because of anything special. Like lent or a New Years resolution. But because I was an alcoholic.”
Poyer said that understanding he had a problem was the first step. He realized that he was using drinking to avoid difficult issues in his life, including the stresses that came from a high-pressure job in the NFL. It came to a point that he couldn’t even be a father to his young daughter anymore.
“I remember days she would cry because I just couldn’t put a beer down,” he wrote. “I remember not being able to play with Aliyah cause I was too intoxicated. I remember feeling thoughts in my head; that would scare the hell out of sober me now.”
He credited the support of family, especially wife Rachel Bush, in helping pull him out of the dark place. Poyer said his mother recommended trying Alcoholics Anonymous, and he took a few trips to just listen.
“Those 3 meetings plus the support from my family; In particular my wife Rachel, I was able to change my life and see the light,” he wrote.
Poyer Hopes His Story Can Help Others
The Bills safety said he was motivated to share his own difficult story in the hopes that it might be able to help others facing similar struggles.
“I’m writing this knowing there are others out there like me that realize they too need help,” he wrote.
Poyer added that he was embarrassed about his past and said it was “shameful,” but added that if he could overcome the struggles of being an alcoholic, he was confident that others could too. Poyer even offered his DMs for anyone who had questions or felt they needed support.
The post brought a big reaction from fans and fellow players, with many leaving comments thanking Poyer for his strength in speaking out. Teammates Dawson Knox and Matt Milano offered words of support, and the team’s official Instagram account commended him as well.
Even before Poyer’s announcement, his big life changes had already caught the attention of teammates. During the last season, fellow safety Micah Hyde praised Poyer for his focus and dedication.
“He’s addicted to the grind and he’s addicted to getting better,” Hyde said in a video conference call in December. “I’m gonna go in the weight room right now and I guarantee you he’s already in there. He watches a lot of film and he literally just loves the process. He loves the game of football and he’s one of those guys that eats, sleeps, and dreams about football. That’s his mindset.”