The Los Angeles Chargers gave cornerback Casey Hayward some time off after the player tragically lost his brother in a fatal car accident.
Coach Anthony Lynn addressed the press on Wednesday and confirmed that Hayward had left for home. Lynn did not know whether the 28-year-old would come back in time for the game against the Cleveland Browns this Sunday.
“I told him he needs to go home and be with his family,” the coach said. “If Casey makes it back and plays, that’s great. If he doesn’t, then we certainly understand.”
The Chargers certainly need Hayward’s defensive presence especially since the team is looking to sneak into the playoffs. After an uninspiring 0-4 start to the season, the team has gone on to win five of their last seven games.
In 11 games this season, Hayward has recorded 30 tackles along with four interceptions. He’s now the defensive fulcrum of the Chargers lineup after Jason Verrett went down in September due to a knee injury.
Lynn may remain hopeful that Hayward will come back on Sunday to face Cleveland, especially since the player brought his homework along on the way to be with his family. But plans can change suddenly, and Hayward’s coach and teammates will surely support his decisions during this difficult time.
“He may have more on his plate than he thinks, and I just told him take care of business at home, and we’ll take care of this,” Lynn added.
According to reports, 27-year-old Jecavesia Hayward was the front seat passenger in a Toyota Camry traveling on Interstate 75 in Macon, Georgia. The vehicle slammed into a tractor trailer, which was stopped in the emergency lane, just before midnight on Monday.
Reports stated that Hayward was ejected from the vehicle and subsequently struck by other passing vehicles. Drivers of those vehicles called 911, but Hayward was pronounced dead on the scene by Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones. The driver of the Camry and another passenger were listed in stable condition. No one else was injured in the crash.