LOS ANGELES, CA — Defensive lineman Brandon Mebane will rejoin his Chargers teammates for the playoffs Sunday just seven days after the death of his newborn daughter, it was reported Thursday.
Mebane’s baby, seven-week-old Makenna, was born with a chromosomal disorder that affected her heart, and she spent her life in neonatal intensive care where she died Jan. 3, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Mebane missed four games of the season to be with his wife and children after Makenna was born. He also missed the first playoff game but will return for Sunday’s game against New England.
“You know, it’s been a tough year, period, but she would want me to be here doing my job,” Mebane, 33, told the Times. “No matter where I am, I still think about her. I’m just happy I’m still able to play this game.”
Mebane added that getting back to the rhythm and routine of the game will help him process his grief.
“I’m doing pretty good,” he told the Times. “I’m just trying to take one day at a time. It’s still painful. I thank God every day and still pray.”
The team shared in Mebane’s grief, tweeting, “Words are hard to come by with the passing of Brandon Mebane’s infant daughter, Makenna. We are heartbroken. Please join us in keeping Brandon, and his family, in your thoughts and prayers.”
The Chargers will face the Patriots Sunday morning in freezing temperatures.
Photo: NOVEMBER 11: Brandon Mebane #92 of the Los Angeles Chargers is seen during their NFL game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on November 11, 2018 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)