COSTA MESA (AP) — Brandon Mebane is likely to play for the Los Angeles Chargers this week following the death of his 7-week old daughter.
Mebane had missed five of the past seven games, including last week’s wild-card game at Baltimore, to be with his family.
“She wasn’t getting better so we had to make a decision,” Mebane said before Wednesday’s practice. “She kept having bleeds from the stomach, and then when they tried to feed her, it wasn’t good for her liver.”
Makenna Mebane died on Jan. 3. She was born on Nov. 12 with a defective heart condition. The Chargers defensive lineman was in Omaha, Nebraska, with his wife, Amena, and other two children, 4-year-old Mahailey and 2-year-old Makai, for most of the past two months while Makenna received treatment for a stomach infection.
Makenna, who was born one month premature, had Trisomy 13, which is otherwise known as Patau syndrome. It is a rare genetic condition — babies are born with an extra chromosome — that causes delays in development as well as affecting many organs.
Mebane said that the rest of the family is also back in Los Angeles. He had full participation in practice as the Chargers prepare for Sunday’s divisional-round game at New England.
Coach Anthony Lynn said that he expects Mebane to play “unless something happens.” Mebane has started 12 games this season with 53 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack.
While Mebane did say it was nice to be back with teammates, he was there with a heavy heart.
“No matter where I am, I’m still thinking about her,” Mebane said. “We’re all doing pretty good. Just trying to take it one day at a time.”
Chargers defensive tackle Damion Square said it was good to have him back despite the tough circumstances.
“I don’t understand how tough it is. The fact he is back says a lot about him. Whatever he had to do, my hats off to him,” Square said.
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