Andy Reid is expected to return to the comforting routine of work soon, quite possibly in time to coach the Philadelphia Eagles in their preseason opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night.
Reid has not been with the team since Sunday, when the body of his 29-year-old son Garrett was found at the team’s Lehigh training-camp dormitory. Reid, in a statement released Monday, said his son had “lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years.” The funeral for Reid, who had struggled with drug addiction, was held today in Broomall, Pa.
“It was a combination of tremendous grief and tremendous love, and of course, they go hand in hand,” Eagles chairman Jeffrey Lurie told Philly.com. “A lot of tears, and a lot of joy, in terms of remembering Garrett ... The sense of Garrett was [as] just a joyous person, upbeat, who brought everybody up ... loyal to his friends. Somebody who enjoyed life, with challenges, but somebody who always was there for his friends.”
Among the estimated 900 mourners were NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell; NFL head coaches Bill Belichick, John Harbaugh, Pat Shurmur and Joe Vitt; and a number of Reid’s current and former players.
“I wanted to come out here and show my support for Coach Reid and his whole family and wish him the best,” Brian Westbrook told reporters. Garrett Reid had been working with the Eagles’ strength and conditioning staff.
Lurie told reporters that, while Reid can take as much time as he needs to be with his family, it would not be a surprise if he were to coach in the team’s preseason opener Thursday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. “We'll see,” Lurie said, “but all indications are that he probably will be [on the sideline]. ... I think what you'll see from Andy is that desire to be around another loving extended family.”
The Eagles practiced Sunday and Monday with coordinators Marty Mornhinweg leading the offense and Juan Castillo the defense. They had a scheduled day off today.
“Garrett's road through life was not always an easy one,” Reid said in his statement Monday. “He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart.
“I spoke with the team yesterday and thanked them for their thoughts and prayers. I asked them to continue with their preparations for the upcoming season until I am ready to rejoin the team.
“It is in times like these that we lean on our faith, our family, our friends, and our Eagles family. We will do so in the difficult times ahead.”