On Sunday afternoon, Mason Crosby played with the composure of a Pro Bowler and delivered at every opportunity for the Green Bay Packers, booting through a 47-yard field goal and all four extra points in a 31-13 win over the New York Giants.
A difficult thing to accomplish against heavy snowfall that forced sideline crews to shovel the field between drives. Immeasurably more difficult to do after losing a family member to cancer just days earlier.
While his Packers teammates traveled to New York, Crosby flew to Austin, Texas, to be with his family after his brother’s wife died Friday morning of ovarian cancer at 30, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. Crosby’s own wife underwent surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her right lung the day after the team’s preseason finale in August.
Crosby told reporters in Sunday’s postgame he planned to fly back to Texas and spend the next couple of days with his brother before rejoining the team for next week’s home game against the Washington Redskins. He also expressed gratitude for how lenient and understanding the Packers organization had been through such a difficult time for his family.
“I’m just so thankful for this organization,” Crosby said via Demosky, “and the way they handled the tragedy and the fact that they didn’t blink at all to make it so I could go be with my brother.
“I’ll come back, get two days of work in and then we’ll just try to get down and back either Friday or we’ll figure it out. But yeah, it’s tough. She’s an amazing person and it’s so hard to see your brother and just that emptiness there.”
Follow the Heavy on Packers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Packers Embrace Crosby as Family
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur made sure Crosby left the locker room Sunday knowing how much his presence meant to the team, giving him the game ball and embracing him in front of a crowd of his teammates. The organization was there for him and his wife during her bout with cancer last summer and it would be there again as his family grieved.
“Tough situation for sure, especially to find out like he did Friday morning after Thanksgiving, when we’re all counting our blessings,” Aaron Rodgers said in the postgame. “That was obviously really tough for him. We wrapped our arms around him and supported him. He’s been through a lot this year. He really has. He’s a great friend, a great locker room presence for us. I do applaud the organization for, again, reminding us where the priorities are and allowing him to get down there and see his brother as well as this upcoming week.”
Crosby has been a rock for the Packers this season, making 14 of his 15 field goals with his only miss coming from 45 yards out in a Week 3 win over the Broncos. It was a starting role some believed he might lose during the preseason when Sam Ficken emerged as a young challenger for the job he’d held for 12 previous seasons.
Ultimately, Crosby’s consistent leg ensured his job security while he privately supporting his wife through her illness. She has since recovered and was in the stands when her husband delivered the game-winner for the Packers against the Detroit Lions in Week 7, kicking a 23-yard field goal straight through the uprights on the final play of the game.
After his latest heroics Sunday, Crosby was asked how he was able to maintain his focus this season with so much going on outside of football with his family.
“Stuff like this today, this team, just my faith,” Crosby said via The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman. “Yeah, just relationships, people in my life that I know I can depend on. In this situation, I’m trying to be a rock and be there for my brother and for Brittany’s family and try to be whatever I can and be available and be there as much as possible and support them.”