PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Most of the country is opting for a low-key Thanksgiving this year, and that includes members of the Philadelphia Eagles.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise, health officials are asking Americans not to travel for Thanksgiving. Families that usually have large gatherings will have much smaller ones, and many will be talking to other family members virtually, including defensive end Brandon Graham.
"COVID changed those plans," said Graham. "I told the family we were going to Zoom. We can Zoom and talk and have fun over Zoom."
Graham is always looking forward to having a host of family members over for Thanksgiving, but he has been personally affected by the virus. One family member and a close friend of Graham's family passed away during the pandemic, and he isn't about to put any other family members at an unnecessary risk to catch the coronavirus.
"The family understands," Graham said. "It's just going to be my family, the wife and kids, and that's it. We're really just going to enjoy Facetime calls, Zoom calls, however people want to do it.”
There is a chance Thanksgiving 2021 will be more like previous Thanksgiving gatherings, and for Graham and many other Americans, there is an understanding that the risk is simply not worth it for a big Thanksgiving gathering.
"We just can't get together right now," said Graham. "There's a lot at stake. You don't want to be put on the COVID list for getting anything, and you don't want to give nobody anything. You just never know."
As Graham indicated, he does not want to spread the virus to any of his teammates.
The Eagles and the rest of the NFL continue to deal with positive COVID-19 cases, and combining the risk of spreading the virus to teammates and family members made it an easy decision for the Graham family to go virtual this Thanksgiving.
"We've got to protect ourselves and protect each other in this moment right now," he said.