Brandon Graham doesn’t want to live his life in fear.
The Philadelphia Eagles defensive end isn’t going to take any unnecessary risks either.
Graham has seen his great-aunt and the wife of a close family friend die from the COVID-19 virus this spring.
“It’s tough for the family right now,” he said on a Zoom news conference with reporters Thursday.
Still, he has faith the NFL will be able to safely return this fall.
“I’m going to trust that the NFL, when they say it’s time to go (back), that they really (are working) for our best interest,” he said.
Graham is realistic to know that things won’t be the same when the players eventually return.
“(There’s) going to be some timidness, not a lot of bro hugs,” he said. “I just feel like you’ve got to trust that everybody is doing the right things, trying to help this situation. I’m going to try to be as normal as I can, just be safe.”
Graham, who was born in Detroit and still lives in Michigan, worked out earlier this week with Eagles corner back and new addition Darius Slay at a high school in the Detroit suburbs. Philadelphia acquired Slay in a trade before the draft with the Detroit Lions in March.
“I am going to be smart about it,” Graham said. “I know he’s been quarantining and doing the right thing. It’s all about trusting and making sure that you do what you can, because we both have kids.”
Graham has tried to make the most of the quarantine. He and his wife, Carlyne, donated cheesesteaks to health care workers in Detroit.
“This is a time that we get to spend a lot of time with our families, that we normally don’t get,” he said. “You try to look at the positives of it. Me, I’ve been trying to read a lot more, trying to pick up better habits on different things, and just working on me. Trying to use this time wisely.”
Graham, entering his 11th season with the Eagles, now finds himself the longest-tenured player on the Eagles roster. Philadelphia selected him with the 13th pick in the 2010 draft. Last year, Graham signed a three-year, $40 million contract.
Graham will always be remembered for his fourth-quarter strip sack of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the Eagles’ 41-33 victory in Super Bowl 52.
Graham had 8.5 sacks and made 50 tackles last season.
“Man, it’s an honor to be here 11 years,” Graham said. “Brent Celek (retired Eagles tight end) was here 11 years, and when he was thinking about all his stuff, I said, ‘Man, I feel so good right now, I have to keep making plays just to stay here.’ And that’s all I’ve been trying to do, leading by example and not trying to do too much other than what I’ve been doing.”