Three members of Brandon Graham's family contracted COVID-19 this spring and two of them died.
So he knows as well as anybody the risks NFL players face if football is played this fall.
“I don’t want to live in fear,” Graham said. “But I am going to be smart about it.”
Graham, heading into his 11th season with the Eagles, spoke about his family’s losses and the challenges of this unprecedented offseason in a Zoom call on Thursday.
Graham said all three family members who contracted COVID-19 were in Michigan, where Graham grew up and now lives during the offseason.
Three aunts got it, two passed,” Graham said. “One of them was my dad’s sister, she got better, so we were thankful for that. Two of them … one was my grandma’s sister on my dad’s side and she passed and my dad’s friend’s wife, who was like an auntie to me, she passed, and she was a close friend of the family and that was really tough because she went from talking to us every day to one day later she was gone. It got bad real fast. That’s still tough. You know. It just sucks, but you’ve got to keep pressing, keep going. We understand it’s a part of life, but the way things happened, it’s tough for the family right now.
Graham said the situation was so bad in the Detroit area his family considered just returning to the Philadelphia area but ultimately decided to sit tight in Michigan.
Nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen this fall, but Graham said he’s as enthusiastic as ever to play football and said that if teams do return to their facilities and to practice and eventually to games, he’ll trust that team and league officials have made sure it’s safe.
I’m going to trust that the NFL, when they say it’s time to go, that it’s going to be for our best interest,” Graham said. “That’s what we have to do. For us to have some type of normal about the situation. When they say they did all their homework and things are looking better.
Nobody knows exactly what the NFL will look like if there are games this fall.
But B.G. knows it will be different.
“Yeah, there’s going to be some timidness,” he said. “A lot of bro-hugs? Nah, we’re not going to do too much. It’s going to get back to that. But you’ve got to trust that everybody’s doing the right things and trying to help the situation and not be reckless with it. I’m going to trust it, that’s it. Try to be as normal as I can. Just be safe and not worry about it. And if things happen, things just happened. I’m just not going to live in fear, that’s my No. 1 thing.”
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