The Washington Football Team wants players and staff to prioritize their mental health. The team announced Tuesday it hired Dr. Barbara Roberts as its first full-time director of wellness and clinical services.
The Football Team isn't the first club to hire a wellness director, but it's not a common job around the league yet. Only seven NFL teams have hired similar positions. Dr. Roberts is only the fourth full-time clinician with a Ph.D. in psychology working in the NFL, the team said in a statement.
Dr. Roberts will introduce daily mental wellness work for players as part of her program. Her goal is to "focus on the development of a foundation for mental wellness and its impact on overall health and performance."
Head coach Ron Rivera stressed the importance of mental health among players, and said Dr. Roberts will be a "tremendous resource" for the franchise.
Washington coming off playoff appearance
Expectations will be much higher after the team made the playoffs last season. The Football Team went just 7-9, but that was enough to win the NFC East. They lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who went on the win the Super Bowl. It was the first time since 2015 Washington reached the postseason.
There will be pressure to repeat in 2021. After an excellent rookie season, Chase Young will anchor what should be a tough Washington defense. There are questions at quarterback, but as long as standout wide receiver Terry McLaurin is healthy, the Washington Football Team has a chance.
Despite that, Washington isn't the favorite to win the NFC East. Oddsmakers at BetMGM list the Dallas Cowboys as +100 to win the division. Washington ranks second at +300.
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