Houston Roughnecks player tackles depression to make his way back onto the field

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A former NFL player and Super Bowl record holder had to tackle depression in order to get back to football.

Houston Roughnecks defensive player, Kony Ealy, enjoys being with his new team. "It feels really good," Ealy said.

His journey to the Roughnecks wasn't easy. Ealy was a second round pick by the Carolina Panthers.

He tied records in Super Bowl 50 with sacks and a turnover. Despite the success, he left the league.

An injury, the death of his father and sister all took a toll on his mental health.

"I've really never deal with that type of death," he explained. "I've lost people in my family before but those people were very, very close to me."

Ealy said those losses drove him into a deep depression.

"I was cutting people off. People that really cared about me. I switched numbers. I really just isolated myself from the world because of that."

Ealy said he found help through prayer, and a close support system.

The athlete said he's sharing his story with ABC13 because he said he wants to help others and let them know they're not alone.

"Nobody's situation is the same. It's all about getting it out. The more you can get it out and vent to somebody and get it off your chest, the better you'll feel. Your whole mood will change."

Now that his mood has changed for the better, Ealy hopes his Roughnecks career will get him back in the NFL.

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