Every person–every family–is different. So to offer commentary on when and how Andy Reid should return to his football team would be completely unfair. Some will undoubtedly suggest Reid take an extended absence from football during such a difficult time to be with his family. Some will say that football will provide the respite needed for a man whose core must be shaken and rattled at the news of his son Garrett’s death. As I earlier suggested, I don’t believe it’s fair, nor is it within the right of anyone, to pass judgment on how Reid or his family plans to proceed in the wake of this unexpected tragedy.
But what we do know is that Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie has announced that Reid will continue to be the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. And it appears he will resume with those duties as early as this week.
“I expect Andy to be coaching this week, and back,” said owner Jeffrey Lurie. “He is very, very focused on both his family and his profession.”
Certainly, those wishes are of Reid and Reid alone. Even with the urgency at an all time high, there’s no way that Reid’s boss would demand him to return to the job in the very same week that he lost his eldest son.
“All he wanted to talk to me about is how incredibly excited he is for this football team. He wanted me to know that. Secondly, that he treasures these practices. He feels bad that he’s going to not be at practice today or probably tomorrow.”
While the immediate reaction may be that Reid is rushing back too soon, it’s impossible to judge a man for how he chooses to cope with the unfortunate reality he must deal with. And so when his employer speaks about his enthusiasm and unwavering passion for football, sure, he may be pacifying the concerns of the team’s eager fanbase. But he’s also offering a testament regarding the resolve of both Reid and his family, while simultaneously acknowledging the grief and pain that he is currently wrestling with.
“This is a father grieving. Fully grieving. I’ve watched Andy try so hard with his family over the years. He cares so much about his family. Sometimes what happens happens, in life.”
Frankly, if Reid is back with the team this week, that’s wonderful, so long as it’s what he feels is best for himself and his family. And if Reid changes his mind, decides he needs more time, and leaves his team in the hands of his assistants, well, then that’s fine, too. Reid can be criticized for many of his decisions during his time in Philadelphia. But this? No. Whatever Reid decides here must be embraced and supported. Here’s hoping that’s the case.