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Hayden Hurst set on helping those with depression and anxiety

Hayden Hurst set on helping those with depression and anxiety

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Hayden Hurst immediately saw the impact of his documentary last week when, just hours after it aired, people reached out to him to tell their stories. 

Hurst was a part of a documentary titled “Headstrong” that aired on NBC Sports Washington last week, which detailed his struggles with depression and anxiety as a baseball player. The documentary will air on NBCSN on Nov. 20.

Now, Hurst is reaching out to tell his story in hopes of impacting those who struggle with mental illness, as he did.

“I think it’s going to reach a lot of people,” Hurst said. “Some people even reached out to tell me stuff that affects them in their lives. It’s very cool, it’s very humbling.”

Hurst was a standout baseball player in high school and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 17th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He signed immediately and began his professional baseball career. 

But shortly thereafter, Hurst developed the “Yips,” and he was unable to throw strikes like he once did. On the mound, his hands shook when he attempted to pitch. Off the field, his condition began to deteriorate. 

He said he began to self-medicate and that’s when he started to seek help. 

After he retired from baseball, he decided to play football at the University of South Carolina and began to treat his mental illness. In 2018, he was a first-round pick of the Ravens.

“It’s night and day from where I was,” Hurst said. “Back in the baseball days, my lack of success in baseball kind of led to my off the field issues. I kind of self-medicated a little bit to make everything go away. Where I’m at now, I’m so much more mature, I’m so much more in-tune with the person that I am, I’m close with my family.”

Hurst is now set out on telling his story to help others who might be in the same situation that he was in. With his background as a professional baseball and football player, he’s hopeful that people will see his situation and feel compelled to talk about what they’ve been going through.

“I really want to tell my story so I get it out there and people can relate to it and they can see it and read it and see the silver lining in it,” Hurst said. “I think a lot of people struggle with things and not a lot of people like talking about it.”

It’s difficult for him to make speeches and speak with others during the NFL season, but he’s got plans to travel to Columbia, South Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida to reach out to people who might be in need of help in the offseason.

He’s already begun work in Baltimore and wants to continue to help through his foundation, the Hayden Hurst Family Foundation. 

For now, though, he wants everyone to know that it’s OK to not be OK. Hurst’s story proves that. 

“I think more people are affected by it than we think,” Hurst said. “It’s a sensitive topic and not many people like talking about it. I’m in a position where — this sounds worse than it is — I really don’t care what people think about me. I am who I am, it’s part of the make up of who I am and I’m going to tell my story.”

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Jets running back Le'Veon Bell doesn't regret bowling while sick

Jets running back Le'Veon Bell doesn't regret bowling while sick

As the New York Jets visit the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night for their matchup, the Jets are dealing with some controversy surrounding running back Le'Veon Bell. 

Bell, who missed New York's game against Miami on Sunday with the flu, was seen bowling the night before and has since found himself in the middle of discussions about "distractions" and bad public "optics".

Before Sunday's game, Bell's flu forced him to miss two practices and Saturday's walk-through. He was ruled as too sick to play Saturday at 5 p.m., only hours before he was spotted bowling in New Jersey. The next day Bell watched the Jets-Dolphins game from a private box in MetLife Stadium.

The team was unaware of the controversy until late Monday when head coach Adam Gase heard about the running back's outing. 

On Tuesday, Gase said Bell's late-night bowling excursion was a bad look for the team since he was too sick to play. But Bell spoke out later Tuesday, explaining he has no regret for going bowling, only for being spotted in public. 

"I didn't break any rules," Bell said, "and I wasn't a distraction until now that you all see me bowling, so that's it."

Bell explained that he understands how, from a certain perspective, bowling while he is too sick to play can look bad, but that he does not see anything wrong with it.

"I could see, from the outside of it, if I was playing Sunday and they see me bowling [it would look bad]," Bell said.

While Bell is surprised his bowling turned into a "big thing," he's more surprised that he bowled a career-high 251 while recovering from the flu.

Whether Bell's controversy impacts the team or not, the Jets will have a tough opponent to face with, or without, their running back as they face the Ravens on Thursday. The Ravens are seeking their 10th consecutive win and the AFC North title.

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Hayden Hurst sending signed jersey to fan he headbutted in TD celebration

Hayden Hurst sending signed jersey to fan he headbutted in TD celebration

Ravens tight end and self-proclaimed #HockeyGuy Hayden Hurst is spreading the holiday cheer as he makes amends for a celebration injury he caused a fan in the stands.

Over Week 14 in Buffalo, Hurst caught a 61-yard toss from QB Lamar Jackson and rushed in to the end zone for his second touchdown of the season. With excitement, Hurst leaped in to the stands to celebrate with fans. In the process, there was some helmet-to-head contact.

Shortly thereafter, Hurst found this tweet that was sent out after the Ravens beat the Bills:

Thanks to social media, a connection was made, and the lucky fan with not only get his gloves but a signed jersey as well.

With warning to future fans down front, Hurst has well established that he is, indeed, a Hockey Guy and will continue to "crash the boards" aka leap in to the stands. 

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