ALAMEDA -- NFL teams take charter flights to and from away games. They come in a day or two early, play in a hostile environment, and immediately head back to the airport and on home.
Raiders safety Erik Harris had a separate itinerary following Sunday night’s 28-20 loss to the host Miami Dolphins. He flew commercial from South Florida to Houston and back to New Orleans to be with his wife, Theresa, for the birth of their fourth child.
Those events don’t follow a schedule. Kids come on their own time, so Harris kept fingers crossed that he would be able to play the Dolphins and be present when his son entered the world.
Harris just made it. He arrived after midnight, and Ellis Quinn Harris was born the next day.
“This was my fourth, but felt the same as the first,” Harris said Wednesday. “You can explain the moment to people, but you really have to go through it to truly understand it. It’s just incredible, and I’m so glad I was able to be there.”
That seemed unlikely at first.
“When we originally found out the due date, it was three days after we got back from London (on Oct. 15),” Harris said. “She usually goes early, I was worried I was going to be in London, and that would’ve been stressful being so far away.”
Theresa Harris was supposed to give birth in their home state of Pennsylvania, but that wasn’t possible with the new baby coming soon.
“Plans changed, but we made some halftime adjustments,” Harris said. “Everything worked out great for us.”
It didn’t last long. Harris had to get back to work the next day. He took the older sons to school, picked them up early for a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, and then went back to the hospital to be with his wife, mother-in-law and newborn son.
Then an Uber took him to the airport for a flight bound for Oakland. He arrived at 1 a.m. Wednesday and immediately started prepping for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.
Harris posted some photos of a whirlwind day for his growing family.
Harris obviously wishes he could stay with his family during an important time, but he thanked his mother-in-law and local support system for allowing him to get back to work on a season where this special teams standout is getting a real chance to make an impact on defense.
“When I’m here, this is priority because it affects my family,” Harris said. “I take this very seriously, but I was anxious to get home to be there with my family. I couldn’t get there fast enough.”