Underwood hospitalized again — (USA Today)

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IRVING, Texas (AP) — Troubled defensive tackle Dimitrius Underwood of the Cowboys was admitted to a local mental hospital, The Dallas Morning News reported on Saturday.

The Cowboys refused to comment on the report.

The newspaper, which did not identify its source, said Underwood, who has bipolar disorder, was admitted on Thursday evening.

That was just eight months after his second suicide attempt in less than a year. The newspaper said Underwood was expected to be released Friday evening or Saturday morning. Calls Saturday to Underwood’s agent, Robert Huebner, were not returned.

Receiver Wane McGarity said Underwood phoned him Thursday afternoon and asked for help.

“He just sounded upset, and I tried to talk to him,” McGarity said. “I’m just glad he called someone. I don’t think that I had anything to do with him checking into the hospital.”

Coach Dave Campo said Underwood was excused from practice Friday for personal reasons. He refused to discuss the reasons for Underwood’s absence.

However, Campo said he expects Underwood to play in Sunday’s season opener against Tampa Bay.

“As far as I’m concerned, he’s ready to go,” Campo said. “I don’t think there’s anything that you need to worry about.”

Underwood missed his senior year at Michigan State because of an ankle injury, but was impressive enough as a junior that the Minnesota Vikings drafted him in the first round in 1999.

But then he left training camp, saying he was torn between football and ministry work.

The Vikings cut him and he wound up signing for far less money with the Miami Dolphins. He was hurt his first preseason game, then a month later attempted suicide. Miami cut him in December.

In March 2000, having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he signed a two-year contract worth $275,000 with Dallas.

He was controlling the mental ailment, which triggers irrational behavior, with medication.

But Underwood again tried to commit suicide by running into traffic twice in a busy suburban Florida highway in January.

Season-ending injuries to Chad Hennings and Leon Lett last season prompted Dallas to shift him from defensive end to defensive tackle, where he played well.

He finished with 23 tackles and four sacks, including a stretch of three consecutive games with a sack. He led the Cowboys with 14 quarterback pressures

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Surviving Manic Depression: A Manual on Bipolar Disorder for Patients

E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., Michael B. Knable, D.O. – Google Books

Basic Books, 2002

The Cowboys were reeling Saturday after learning that police said defensive tackle Dimitrius Underwood tried to kill himself Wednesday by twice running into traffic on a busy suburban highway in Coral Springs, Florida.

Underwood, 23, pleaded with startled motorists that he “wanted to go to Jesus” and asked passersby for a gun, according to the police report.

Underwood, who describes himself as having “accute bipolar disorder” has a swollen scar at the base of his neck from a jagged steak knife that he used in a September 1999 suicide attempt in East LAnsing, Mich, while a member of the Miami Dolphins.

The deeply religious Underwood, who has one year remaining at $275,000 on a two-year contract signed in March, has taken medication for his disorder during his nine months with the Cowboys.