PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Philadelphia Eagles guard Shawn Andrews is battling depression and might arrive at training camp this week, the two-time Pro Bowl selection told two newspapers Monday.
In interviews with The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News from his Arkansas home, Andrews detailed his struggle with depression.
Andrews said his depression started a year ago and has worsened.
``I'm willing to admit that I've been going through a very bad time with depression,'' Andrews told the Daily News in his first public comments about his training camp absence. ``I've finally decided to get professional help. It's not something that blossomed up overnight. I'm on medication, trying to get better.''
The Eagles did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment about Andrews' admission.
Andrews didn't detail the origins of his depression in comments posted on the newspapers' Web site.
``I really was kind of at my end,'' the right guard said. ``I've really had a lot on my mind, really (been) contemplating a lot of things.''
Andrews missed the final week of the Eagles' voluntary workouts in June for personal reasons and has been a no-show in the first weeks of training camp.
``In the state that I'm in, (had he reported), I would be at training camp physically, but mentally, I could have gotten myself hurt or gotten one of my teammates hurt,'' he was quoted as telling the newspaper.
Andrews said he is scheduled to see a doctor Thursday and could return to the team shortly after.
``After finally deciding to get professional help, I felt like maybe talking about my situation could be a blessing to someone else going through the same things,'' Andrews told the Inquirer. ``Regardless of whether you're a celebrity or you play for the Philadelphia Eagles and you're in the limelight, you still go through problems.''
The fifth-year veteran also confirmed to the Daily News that he is being fined $15,000 per day by the team because his absence is not excused. He said his mental health is more important than football.
``Football is important, it's a means to an end, but my mental health, I feel like, is a lot more important,'' Andrews said. ``That's a helluva lot of money ... Money's good, money's a necessity, but it's not everything. I can't put a price tag on my mental state.''
Andrews said he hopes to speak to his teammates when he does rejoin the Eagles.
``I just want to look 'em in the eye and let 'em all know - this wasn't BS, this was for the mental health of me, I could have gone out there and gotten any one of you hurt'' by not being focused,'' he said.
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