Richie Incognito receiving counseling

Updated: March 2, 2014, 11:10 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Embattled lineman Richie Incognito is undergoing treatment at a psychiatric care unit in Arizona after checking into the facility late Thursday, multiple media outlets are reporting.

Incognito, the player at the center of the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal, which came to a head in November, is seeking help because of stress, according to reports. In a 2013 interview with NFL.com, he spoke of his struggles with anger management and depression.

In an earlier report, TMZ said Incognito checked himself into the facility, then later reported that his admittance was not voluntary.

Brett Romberg, a friend and former teammate of Incognito's with the Rams, told Miami radio stations 104.3 and AM 790 The Ticket that he is concerned for Incognito and that his friend hasn't gotten back in touch with him for a while.

"My wife Emily called me yesterday and was like, 'You need to call Richie,'" he said. "This is really, really bad. This is the first time he hasn't answered my call and answered my text. I'm really, really concerned. Like very concerned."

Romberg said he fears for Incognito's safety.

"No joke, no word of a lie, I'm really concerned," Romberg said. "It was to the point now where I am very, very concerned. I'm trying to get a hold of his family now."

Incognito's parents are divorcing, and it is believed to be having an impact on Incognito.

"His parents are his backbone in life," Romberg said. "He loves his mom more than anything. His old man loves him to death. His little brother ... this is just bad. And I'm terrified that he might go about doing something really, really, really bad to himself.

"This is ... now it's dangerous. I don't think he's going to go as far as to hurt other people now ... now I think it's just self-inflicted, just breakdown."

Incognito resurfaced in the news Thursday when Scottsdale police checking on reported damage to a car belonging to him said Incognito told an officer he did the damage himself. Scottsdale police have closed the matter because no crime was committed.

Incognito told Fox 10 in Arizona later in the day that he was just "venting" when he smashed his Ferrari with a baseball bat. A photo showed Incognito's car with several dents in its hood and a bat in front of the vehicle. A part of the bat was lodged in the car's grille.

"Oh, that was just me venting, that was my self expression, that's a piece of art," he told Fox 10. "The happiest day of my life was when I got that car, and now the second-happiest day is going to be when I donate it to charity."

"The Ferrari is a story unto itself," Incognito said later in the interview. "The Ferrari is one entity, but I will tell you this: The Ferrari is going to be for sale through my mission, which is helping the brotherhood, whatever brotherhood it is."

An investigation conducted by Ted Wells for the NFL determined that Incognito and two teammates engaged in persistent harassment of offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant team trainer. Wells' findings were released on Feb. 14.

Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall, a teammate of Incognito's in 2010 and '11 with the Dolphins who has experienced his own struggles with psychological issues, said it was important to regard mental-health issues as a medical condition.

"While I empathize with Richie Incognito and the difficulties he may be facing, at the same time I commend him for acknowledging these issues and for the courage and willingness to seek assistance for them," Marshall said in a guest appearance on ESPN's "NFL Live."

"It is imperative that everybody -- not just athletes -- understand that psychological issue are real health issues and not something to be stigmatized or ashamed of. Help is available and help can change lives. The sooner we recognize this as a society the better off we will be."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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