On Thursday, with the Minnesota Vikings preparing for their season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the name of Antoine Winfield appeared on the injury report as having missed practice for "non-football" reasons. The Vikings didn't immediately mention what that reason was.
After Sunday's game, we found out, as reported by Scout.com.
Winfield's brother, 30-year old Anthony Travis, was murdered in the early hours of Thursday morning in Winfield's home town of Akron, Ohio. Police have not yet identified any suspects and are investigating the homicide.
After missing much of the 2011 season with a number of injuries, one of the Vikings' stalwarts was playing with an extremely heavy heart on Sunday afternoon. Following the game, he gave thanks to his teammates for supporting him through the tragedy and said that being on the football field helped him to feel a bit more normal.
Our condolences go out to Antoine Winfield and his family during this time.