The Rams haven't seen running back Tre Mason since the end of the 2015 season. Last month, Mason's mother, Tina Mason, told Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies that her 23-year-old son has a "10-year-old's mindset" resulting from head injuries sustained during his football career.
Dashboard-camera footage from July 27 showed Mason fleeing deputies on an ATV at speeds that reached 80 miles per hour. The chase ended when Mason fled into his mother's house. He refused to come out, though he was cited and his ATV was towed.
"Tre is not himself at all," Tina Mason said on audio recorded from a dashboard-camera video, reports the Palm Beach Post. "He's not making good decisions."
When a deputy told Tina Mason that her son should be playing football, she disagreed.
"No, actually he shouldn't. ... There's CTE and this head-injury thing. You can say he should be playing football, but this is not what it is."
Four days before, Mason had been admitted to a hospital "for evaluation" after his mother called authorities to report that Mason had been acting erratically. She said her son wasn't the same after the 2015 season.
"Clearly, we could see the change," she said. "Like, completely. "
Rams training camp opened in late July, and coach Jeff Fisher said at the time that, "I tried numerous times to reach him," adding: "Tre has made a decision not to communicate with us, not to talk. Not talking to his teammates. Right now we're more concerned about Tre Mason's well-being than we are his football career."
Mason was a 2014 third-round pick out of Auburn, and he played in 12 games as a rookie, rushing for 765 yards and four touchdowns. In fact, according to Football Outsiders' metrics, Mason ranked 23rd in total value among running backs that season, just behind LeGarrette Blount. Now Mason and his family have much bigger concerns.
"As much as he's accomplished, as hard as he's worked, as much as he's built his character, in record-breaking time it's going downhill because of what's going on," Tina Mason said. "He doesn't even know. He's not conscious enough."