Why Did Clay Leave 'The Bachelorette'? He Had To Make A Difficult Choice For His Career

Paul Hebert/ABC

Usually, we say goodbye to contestants during rose ceremonies on The Bachelorette, but once in a while, one decides to go home early, and that happened on Monday night's episode. After getting injured while playing football on a group date, Clay decided that he needed to go home. But why did Clay leave The Bachelorette? As it turns out, he needed to make a really important decision for his health.

The game was going pretty well for a while — especially for Clay, who has played football professionally. Clay managed to score a touchdown, but not without hurting his wrist in the process. After he was checked out by the onsite medic, an ambulance had to come and take Clay to the hospital, which definitely wasn't a good sign when it came to his injury. Fortunately, he was able to return before the date ended, but he already had an appointment to go see an orthopedic surgeon the next day to see exactly how serious things were.

And as soon as he came back, it seemed like Clay and Becca had some serious chemistry. He told her he didn't want to miss out on this time with her, and she even gave him the date rose. But the next day, everything had changed.

Once he had the opportunity to see the surgeon, Clay found out that his wrist needed surgery, and that meant that he would have to decide if he wanted to leave the show to have the operation, or stay and chance his injury getting worse as the season continued.

He told the other guys at the cocktail party:

"For me, it's a tough decision because obviously I want to play football. And I love football, but also it's a way for me to make a good living so I can support who I love most in the world, and I feel like I might need to maybe leave early. But you guys know how amazing Becca is and how rare she is, and it's not like you can find a girl like her every day. If I leave, and say I have three more years of playing football and I retire and there's still no one that I've met that's there for me, and knowing that I left the opportunity to see if there was a possibility that was Becca, I know there'd be regret."

It seemed like a lose/lose situation for Clay, and by the time he had the chance to talk to Becca one on one about it, he'd already made up his mind and wanted to be honest with her — and unfortunately, it was at the exact same moment she'd realized she was feeling a "spark" with him.

Clay told Becca that since he makes money and supports people he cares about through playing football, he has no choice but to go home early, as difficult as it was for him.

"Trust me, I want to stay and see where this goes because I could see us having something great," he told her. "But I know what I have to do, and I regret it already, trust me."

Becca was just as bummed out to hear the news as Clay was to share it — and there were real tears as they said goodbye — but it does sound like Clay felt sure he was making the right decision. Hopefully, Clay's decision to leave The Bachelorette pays off and he's able to get his wrist back in shape so that he can play football again. It was definitely a tough choice, but Clay seems to be the kind of person who won't let anything get in the way of providing for people he loves.