The Panthers gave defensive end Mario Addison some space, letting their leading pass-rusher skip last week’s game to be with his family in Alabama after the death of his brother.
Addison’s back to work this week, but he admitted the emotional wounds haven’t healed and probably won’t for some time.
“I’m fair. I always say I’m fair,” Addison said, via Brendan Marks of the Charlotte Observer. “I can’t say I feel good. I can’t say I’m happy. Can’t say I’m sad, depressed, or angry, because I’m all of them. Like all of them in one, and it can change every two minutes, you know what I’m saying?”
Addison’s brother Gjamal Antonio Rodriqcus was shot and killed, and a suspect has been arrested for capital murder.
The Panthers sent staffers to Alabama for the funeral, and teammates and coaches have tried to support Addison through the loss, including by putting his jersey on the sidelines during last week’s win over the Titans. And while he’s still coping with the loss, Addison said being back at work has helped in its own way.
“I really wanted to get away from Birmingham. You know, it’s a lot of memories, and I’m having a whole lot of mixed emotions while I was there,” Addison said. “I just wanted to get away and be back with these guys, and just actually use football to kind of clear my mind. That’s one of the reasons why I came back.”
At the same time, his brother’s still on his mind. Addison said he hopes he can honor his brother’s memory by playing well — though that’s a small comfort at the moment.