Philadelphia Eagles' Brandon Brooks puts a face and name on anxiety

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Brandon Brooks plays a sport where toughness is valued above all else. Which is why hearing him talk openly about an issue that could be seen as a sign of weakness, makes him one of the strongest athletes around.

Brooks faced the media on Tuesday when he didn't have to, explaining himself, when he didn't have to.

"You know when my team needed me, I wasn't there," Brooks said. "I had a handle on it for two and a half years. the silver lining is, I'm on the right track."



Brooks' battle with anxiety isn't new. But Sunday's setback brought it to light again.



He said it was set off by the pressure to perform up to his brand new $56.5 million contract.

In the locker room, he's being far from shunned. He's being embraced.

"For Brandon, I feel so bad for him," Fletcher Cox said. "I went up to him on the sideline, rubbing his back. I know how bad he wanted to be out there."

"You hear us talk about being a brotherhood," Brooks added. "We have each other's backs, but actions always speak louder than words, no matter if it's me or someone else who went through something serious like this, teammates rally around each other."

Brooks told us that we wouldn't believe how many other players in the NFL reached out to him because they're dealing with the same issues. Of course, you don't hear about that.



Brooks said that is why he decided to go public with his struggles. So that he can make a difference.

"I just encourage athletes who go through things, whether it's a mental illness or anything, to speak out about it. You never know who you might help, including helping yourself," said Brooks.

And by telling the world that it's ok, to not be ok, this larger than life offensive lineman is making a bigger difference than he can imagine.
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