Titans QB Ryan Tannehill Sought Therapy After Playoff Loss Put Him in 'Dark Place': 'A Deep Scar'

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill reflected on the team's heartbreaking 19-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs

Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Tennessee Titans jogs off the field after a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Nissan Stadium on January 22, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Bengals defeated the Titans 19-16.
Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill is opening up about being in a "dark place" after his team's heartbreaking playoff loss earlier this year.

On Tuesday, the 33-year-old spoke to reporters and revealed that the Titans' 19-16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs left him with a "deep scar" that still "sticks with me."

Tannehill — who threw three interceptions during the Jan. 22 game — admitted that after not playing his best, he "absolutely needed" therapy to get past the tough end of his season.

"It was tough. It was not a situation you want to be in," the athlete said. "You prepare so long and so hard to put yourself in a position to go chase your dreams and to play beneath the standard I have for myself: It stung, it hurt."

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Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Tennessee Titans players looks for a receiver during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium on September 20, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Jaguars 33-30.
Wesley Hitt/Getty

"There were a lot of sleepless nights. Every time I closed my eyes, I was re-watching the game in my head. Didn't get a whole lot of sleep for weeks and weeks after the game. Was in a dark place," he continued. "It took me a while and a lot of work to get out of it. It wasn't something that went away easily. It's a scar I'll carry with me throughout the rest of my life, you know?"

Tannehill said he was able to work through it with time, therapy, and communication, noting that this was the first time he needed therapy to get out of a low place.

Despite experiencing a rough few months, the quarterback is staying optimistic and using the loss as motivation for the upcoming season.

"Just like a cut on your arm, it starts off as a wound. You're able to heal from it and it turns into a scar. It never leaves you, but it's always there and it can remind you," Tannehill told reporters. "Now, it's fuel for me. Fuel for me to work and get ready with a passion. Come into this season with a fire and a desire to win like I've never had before."

"I have a personal desire to go win," he added. "I love winning. I love competing with my teammates. I love the work that goes into preparing and the payoff that you do get when you do win. So that's what I'm going to do. Attack every day like I always have with a little more passion, a little more fire. Excited to go out this season and play my best ball."

In the meantime, the Titans and Tannehill — who has two seasons left in his contract — will be prepping for redemption this summer. The star player will also be training alongside rookie quarterback Malik Willis, who joined the franchise from Liberty University as a third-round pick in the NFL Draft last week.

Though Tannehill's starting spot could be threatened, he said he welcomes the competition from teammates heading into the season.

If you or someone you know needs mental health help, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.

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