Eagles' Brandon Graham Doesn't 'Live in Fear' After 2 COVID-19 Deaths in Family

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2020

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham speaks with members of the media at the NFL football team's practice facility in Philadelphia, Monday, Jan. 6, 2020. The Eagles ended their season with a 17-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham said, "I don't want to live in fear, but I am going to be smart about it," when discussing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During a discussion with Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia, he revealed two of his family members and a close family friend were diagnosed with the coronavirus and two of them died:

"Three aunts got it, two passed. 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 is entering what will be his 11th season with the Eagles since they selected him in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft.

This has been one of the most unusual offseasons in league history with a virtual draft, team facilities closed, limited in-person meetings with free agents and uncertainty remaining about whether fans will be in stadiums when the season begins in September, assuming it does.

Despite that and the deaths in his family, Graham trusts the league when it comes time to make the appropriate decisions about how to move forward.

"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."

His Eagles are slated to start the regular season on Sept. 13 against Washington.