SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Quarterback Matt Cassel, who returned home yesterday after his father, Greg Cassel, passed away Monday night, is back with the Patriots this afternoon and indications are that he will play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
Cassel practiced this afternoon, but was not available to speak to the media. His teammates were happy to have him back and said they sympathized with his situation.
"Maybe being around the guys might ease [things] a bit," said fullback Heath Evans. "I don't know that for a fact. I know I just kind of wanted to wrap my arms around him this morning and tell him I loved him. At this time, that's about the only thing you know to do. Hopefully, we can be of some encouragement to him and see how that helps him out."
Mike Vrabel offered similar sentiments.
"Well, I think it will be good for Matt [to be around the team]," Vrabel said. "I don't think anybody can relate to losing a parent, especially a father, but I think what we do is play football. We've got a support staff in there, and hopefully he can lean on his teammates."
Greg Cassel's funeral is Monday.