LA Chargers News

Brandon Mebane’s emotional return will unite Chargers in game vs. Patriots

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 20: Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane #92 of the Seattle Seahawks looks from the bench near the end of the game against the Cleveland Browns at CenturyLink Field on December 20, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 20: Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane #92 of the Seattle Seahawks looks from the bench near the end of the game against the Cleveland Browns at CenturyLink Field on December 20, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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Los Angeles Chargers defensive tackle Brandon Mebane has been away from the team for several weeks while tending to the health issues of his infant daughter.

Brandon Mebane will return to the lineup on Sunday when his team heads to Foxboro to face the New England Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs. Unfortunately, it won’t be under the best of circumstances.

On Wednesday, Mebane revealed to his team that his 7-week old daughter, Makenna, passed away last week. She was born prematurely with a condition known as trisomy 13.

Mebane is one of the biggest veteran presences on the team and one of the more respected as well. Several players have stepped up in his absence, including rookie Justin Jones.

Mebane, in speaking to Ricky Henne of the team’s official website, is happy to be back on the field but his thoughts are with his family.

“No matter where I am, I still think about her. “I’m just happy I’m still able to play this game, so (I’m doing) pretty good.”

Mebane played in 12 games for the Chargers this season and registered 41 tackles with one sack and a forced fumble. He will turn 34 years old next Tuesday and his best days on the field are likely behind him, but this Chargers team can rally around his experience and his story.

As a member of the Seattle Seahawks, Mebane has been on this stage before. In fact, he’s been there against the Patriots. He’s a player many of the young guys on the roster have turned to for advice, leaning on his experience.

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It has to be incredibly difficult to even think about playing a game in a time like this, but we must also remember that he wouldn’t be doing it if he didn’t feel it was the best thing for him. That in itself can help bring the team together even more, giving the rest of the Chargers a chance to rally around Mebane and his family.

Though Mebane is going through some of the most difficult days of his entire life, the team can help lift his spirits by picking him up inside the game he loves.

A win would not only get the Chargers one step closer to the Super Bowl, but it would also be a great early birthday present for big No. 92. However, win or lose, and most importantly, being back on the field with his brothers will be therapeutic for Mebane.

We would like to extend our sincerest condolences to Brandon and his family during this time.

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