Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless revealed Monday he missed the first two days of training camp because his daughter died at birth last week.
Quarless had initially been excused from the first practice of camp on Thursday for what coach Mike McCarthy termed "a positive personal situation." The coach's tone changed ominously the following day when Quarless was again absent, saying the sixth-year tight end was dealing with "a very difficult family situation."
On Monday, after fully participating in his first practice of camp, Quarless shared the devastating news and acknowledged that returning to football had been something of a safe haven.
Quarless had taken part on a limited basis in Saturday's practice before players had Sunday off. He struggled at times to keep his emotions in check as he spoke Monday after several family members, including his 5-year-old son, watched practice.
"It's the saddest day of my life," Quarless said. "I thank this team for the type of support they have given me to help me get through this. Just very thankful for these guys. It's really a family in here.
"I (was) looking forward my first day getting back out there today. It felt real good. It felt real good just to get out there, catch some passes, be able to run around a little bit, kind of get back to your old self and get back into things.
"The most important thing was my son was able to come out there. He was really looking forward to being a big brother," Quarless said. "Today was rough. I'm a little drained. I was drained the past couple of days. ... being around my teammates having fun and actually smile, actually to smile and be happy, that was good for me."
Quarless had been looking forward to his daughter's birth, especially in the wake of his July 4 arrest in Miami Beach, Florida, on a misdemeanor gun charge. He allegedly fired two shots into the air after an argument with a group of women, according to police. He pleaded no contest last month and is due in court on Aug. 24.
Quarless faces a possible suspension under the NFL personal conduct policy, although it's unclear when such a decision would be made. Defensive lineman Letroy Guion was arrested on drug and gun charges in February and reportedly learned last month that he'd be receiving a three-game suspension, although he is appealing.
>>Giants Finally Talk with JPP
The New York Giants finally have spoken with defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul about his injuries.
Giants general manager Jerry Reese said Monday morning in a radio interview that "it was a personal conversation, and I want to keep it private between him and I."
Reese added that the Giants are not annoyed about their inability to communicate with Pierre-Paul since he was injured in a fireworks accident July 4 in Florida. The team has not released details of the injuries suffered by Pierre-Paul in part because it has not been given the opportunity to physically examine him.
The team sent representatives to Florida after the accident but they were unable to visit in the hospital with Pierre-Paul.
Coach Tom Coughlin has not spoken with Pierre-Paul.
Reese said on WFAN in New York that he also has spoken to Pierre-Paul's agent. Pierre-Paul has yet to sign his franchise tag tender, worth $14.8 million for 2015. Should he wind up on the non-football injury list once he signs it, the Giants would not be liable to pay him as long as he is on that list.
Pierre-Paul is entering his sixth NFL season. A first-round pick in 2010, he helped the Giants win the Super Bowl the next season with 16 1/2 sacks. Last year, he had 12 1/2.
Pierre-Paul is the team's top pass rusher, and the Giants brought back Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator this season. Spagnuolo builds his defense around getting pressure on the quarterback.