Quarterback plans for the New England Patriots changed this week but took a turn for the worse.
FOX Sports’ Henry McKenna reported that Patriots quarterback Matt Corral left the team with no explanation as of September 8. Corral remains a Patriot via the exempt/left squad list instead of release following the elevation of Bailey Zappe to backup last week.
“He just left the team,” the source said via McKenna. “Let’s just make sure he’s OK. I don’t know if it’s mental health. I just know he kind of flaked out. … Let’s be careful this guy doesn’t get thrown to the wolves.”
Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald reported that Corral’s move to the exempt/left squad list came amid his sudden, unexpected disappearance. Kyed also reported that the Patriots may have found Corral already.
“The Patriots could not put him on that list unless he literally left the team,” Bedard wrote. “From what I’ve been told from a league source: Corral disappeared after Thursday’s practice and no one could find him for two days … that would seem to indicate that they found him. They have not released him.”
A former Ole Miss star, the Carolina Panthers drafted Corral in the 2022 NFL Draft with a third round pick. He didn’t see the field as a rookie, and the Panthers released him after training camp this year.
New England claimed Corral off of waivers after the initial release of Zappe. The Patriots ultimately re-signed Zappe to the practice squad despite a disappointing preseason but a promising rookie season the year before.
Matt Corral isn’t Alone When it Comes to Mental Health Issues in the NFL
Fantasy Fanatics posted a call for prayer via Twitter for both Corral and Jones with the quote “It’s bigger than football”. Other media members, including FOX Sports’ Michael Irvin, likewise have called for prayer.
“It’s clear these two young men are going through some pain right now, and as there is little information on both Chandler Jones and Matt Corral’s situations, all we can do is pray for the best and that they get the help that they need Men’s mental health is not talked about enough, and it’s sad that it needs to be taken to this level before it gets any attention,” Fantasy Fanatics wrote.
Mental Health an Issue for Former NFL, Patriots Players
It’s been an ongoing problem for players at least after their careers — whether or not it’s related to CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Past Patriots players Junior Seau and Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in the past two decades.
More recently, former Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown made a scene at a January 2022 game when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and stormed off the field. His behavior sparked another national conversation about players’ mental health that year.