What on earth has happened to Los Angeles Rams running back, Tre Mason? The guy who rushed for 1,816 yards and 23 touchdowns in his junior campaign at Auburn before leaving school early for the NFL Draft, seems to have gone totally off the deep end. It’s a sad turn of events for a guy who had 765 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns in his rookie season in 2014.
The son of De La Soul’s Maseo looked to have a very solid NFL career ahead of him after that rookie season but his production fell drastically last season and he ended the year with a paltry 2.8 yards per carry, 207 rushing yards and only 1 touchdown. Injuries, coupled with the emergence of Todd Gurley as one of the next great backs in the league, did not help his second season, but what’s happened off of the field is the real concern.
In the last four months, Mason has been involved in five different incidents involving the police. Including one in March where he was arrested for multiple drug and traffic violations. In that incident, he refused officers’ orders to exit the vehicle and was eventually subdued via taser. If this was just another case of some wild NFL player who was partying in a reckless manner then it wouldn’t be all that surprising. But it seems as though he may be becoming mentally unhinged and his family is now concerned about his welfare.
They are so concerned that his mother called the police the other day because he was “acting unusual and making irrational statements.” According to reports, Tre told officers that “the police were responsible for teaching al-Qaida how to fly planes” and the he needed to warn the White House that “we were all going to lose our jobs.” There was also a hole punched in the wall and a broken vase and lamp in his bedroom. Mason was not arrested in this instance but the officers determined that he wasn’t fit to make decisions for himself. He was then admitted to a hospital for evaluation. This seems to be a sad case of mental illness taking over a young man’s life.
The 22 year old also seems to have lost all concern for the future of his career. The Rams claim that they haven’t heard from the running back in seven months, despite many attempts to contact him. He has apparently changed his cell phone number multiple times recently and is avoiding the team. At this point, the team is concerned about the health and well being of Mason and have placed him on the reserve/did not report list.
Football aside, it is clear that this man needs help. Mental illness is nothing to play around with and it’s good that he is getting some kind of medical attention at this point. Whether this is something that he has always had or something that may have been brought on by brain trauma associated with the physical nature of playing running back at a high level for so many years, no one can yet be sure. While it would be great to see him get back on a football field one day, it is much more important that Tre Mason the person gets taken care of first. Once he gets on top of whatever it is that’s plaguing him, then maybe he can begin the steps to get back to football.