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Buccaneers kicker Matt Bryant has had a more difficult week than most of us can imagine, but he plans to play on Sunday.
Adam Schefter of NFL Network reports that despite burying his infant son today in Texas, Bryant is expected to kick for the Buccaneers on Sunday against the Packers. Per Schefter, Bryant notified team officials that he plans to fly back to Tampa in time for the game.
Schefter reports that the Buccaneers had a plan in place if Bryant had needed more time to deal with his family issues, but it’s not clear what the plan was. The NFL would not have given the Buccaneers a roster exemption.
So far this season Bryant is 5-of-5 on field goals and 8-of-8 on extra points.

Permalink 16 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  1. RaiderNation12 says: Sep 27, 2008 7:29 PM

    this is f@*ked up man i dont care if a family member especially your own son or daughter died and you are still being told to play thats to much emotion im sure. i think the team is going to try and win for bryant’s kid but still the nfl is f’d up first brad childress fines williamson for attending a funeral and now this. can we get the union to help this guy out or what

  2. Azinine says: Sep 27, 2008 7:51 PM

    You need to work on those reading comprehension skills RaiderNation. He wasn’t “told” to play. In fact, he told the team that he would be there.

  3. titans_fan says: Sep 27, 2008 8:06 PM

    Yeah but he wasn’t left much of a choice thanks to the NFL not giving them an exemption. I think he chose to do what the NFL screwed him into doing.
    But on the flip side it might do him some good. It might prove to be a good chance for him to get it off his mind for a lil bit.

  4. Knowledge Rules says: Sep 27, 2008 8:09 PM

    I agree he wasn’t “told” to play but the league should still grant the team a roster exemption for cases like this. Hell, if a player is suspended they give the team one. I guess the NFL stands for No Family League

  5. Vox Veritas says: Sep 27, 2008 8:25 PM

    It’s possible that the guy just wants to get back to work to get some level of normalcy back in his life. Understandable. Or maybe he feels a great sense of commitment to team and teammates. In fact I’m sure that he does and it’s very honorable. Sounds to me like the Bucs made plans to go on without him and that’s very good on their part. Can’t imagine them docking his pay like the Vikes did with Williamson, even if he were to miss the game. That was just a big mess but at least they relented and gave him his game check. Even if they did it for the wrong reasons.

  6. brauneyz says: Sep 27, 2008 8:50 PM

    Maybe some punctuation too, RaiderNation.
    Favre played after his dad’s passing, and while not the same, it’s not our place to say who should be doing what right now. Maybe Bryant’s looking to escape. Playing ball’s probably a lot more healthy than pickling himself in booze. Me – I’d pick the bottle!

  7. Belichick says: Sep 27, 2008 9:23 PM

    Wake up guys.
    I’m sure that if Bryant didn’t want to play and wanted to mourn, he would have had the opportunity to do so under these conditions. He probably just wants to get his mind off things.

  8. oa_01 says: Sep 27, 2008 9:44 PM

    I can relate to Matt going back to work. I lost a child who was only a month old, and getting all the family and friends out of my house and going back to work was incredibly refreshing. Aside from the NFL’s assinine treatment of this situation, I think the football field is going to be a very peaceful place for him tomorrow. I feel for him, and I’ll be rooting hard for his success.

  9. MIBucs1982 says: Sep 27, 2008 10:16 PM

    I think it’s fair for people to question the NFL on the lack of an exemption. The fact they wouldn’t speaks volumes about their lack of understanding and inflexibility for situations like these. Part of the problem with an organization that needs a committee to know when to blow its nose is that the committee doesn’t meet until after the season most times. Flaws within the system to not correct what are obviously urgent issues and I hope that when the committee meets they get their heads out of their butts in terms of this Bereavement Leave issue.
    On another note, how great a man is Matt Bryant to do this for his teammates? If he hadn’t agreed to play tomorrow, someone would have to be cut, would have to lose a game check, and be forced to not participate in the sport they earned a spot to play for. Maybe it would’ve been Matt that got cut, but it could’ve been someone else just as easily. So instead of forcing one of his teammates to potentially go down that gauntlet, he’s gonna tough it out and play. As a Bucs fan, I could care less if he goes 0-100 tomorrow kicking. The message he’s sending to his teammates, the NFL, and fans is worth more than any points he could put up on the scoreboard.

  10. ACDC84 says: Sep 27, 2008 10:28 PM

    While losing a 58 year-old father probably wouldn’t be quite as devastating as losing an infant son (though who am I to judge), this does sound alot like the Favre situation. It probably will be a good way for him to escape those emotions, somewhat, for a few hours.
    I’m a big Packer fan, and what struck me the most about Favre playing that MNF game was hearing the notorious, “cruel” Raider nation giving Favre a standing ovation. Its situations like that that show there are still alot of good people out there. And, again being a Packer fan, I think I would even root for Bryant to make a potential last second game-winning FG, if that situation presented itself.

  11. go_bucs says: Sep 27, 2008 11:15 PM

    if bryant is playing then he obviously wanted to play. hell he might even need to play.

  12. SpartaChris says: Sep 28, 2008 12:05 AM

    I think he probably feels like he needs the outlet. I can’t even begin to imagine the emotions going through him right now, so I’m sure being with his teammates and getting on the football field will be therapeutic. Even though he’s playing the Packers tomorrow, I’ll totally root for him to have a good game.

  13. ShermMonster says: Sep 28, 2008 12:21 AM

    It is quite insane that a league that “promotes” sportsmanship, fair play, and expects it’s players and personel to be role models doesn’t hold itself to the same standards. What message is it trying to send? He hasn’t missed a kick all year, do they think the Bucs have a ringer on the pracitce squad?
    And I do agree that if Bryant wants to play he should, but that should be his choice and not forced into that situation he’s in. Anyway you look at it he’s under extra stress because of this.
    What is worse: a DUI arrest or making a player choose between a another players job and his own son’s funeral?

  14. east96st says: Sep 28, 2008 12:27 AM

    Not a Bucs fan, but I hope he kicks the game winning field goal as time expires. NFL needs to change their policy ASAP. It’s inexcusable that a roster exemption doesn’t exist for the death of a child or spouse.

  15. LewD says: Sep 28, 2008 1:12 AM

    i’ll be rooting for him ………..

  16. MJM1977 says: Sep 28, 2008 3:30 AM

    Please God, give Matt Bryant’s family the strength to deal with this tragedy, and if You could give Matt an opportunity to kick a game winner in honor of Tryson, that’d be pretty awesome too.

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