Jordan Phillips Able to Attend Father's Funeral, Play MNF

Howard Balzer

When the Cardinals kick off Monday night to play the Dallas Cowboys, defensive tackle Jordan Phillips will be playing with a heavy heart.

What’s inspiring is that Phillips is even able to play in the game following the passing of his father earlier this week.

The saga began Wednesday when Phillips tweeted, “The NFL is wanting me to pick between playing in my Monday night game this week or going to my dad’s funeral with the new Covid(-19) protocols. Can’t do both, these rules crazy.”

That tweet was eventually taken down, surely because as difficult as the circumstances were, there’s good reason the league has the protocols it does during this pandemic.

That’s when Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill entered the picture, working with the league and players' association to find a way for Phillips to be with his family this weekend (he was not present during the open portion at practice Saturday) and then get to Dallas for the game Monday.

Although there are very few confirmed details available, Phillips then tweeted Friday, “Appreciate the front office for finding a solution to the problem. Thanks Michael Bidwill. Top notch organization.”

Cardinals nose tackle Corey Peters is the team’s NFLPA rep and he spoke Saturday about the support teammates provided Phillips while offering kudos to the organization.

“The d-line is a pretty tight group,” Peters said. “We discussed what's going on with him and just tried to support him any way we can emotionally. Obviously, losing somebody is always tough. It's always great when an organization can step in and help him be with his real family and also be back with us, his football family, for the game.

“With COVID going on right now, it's a lot of protocols in place. And it's just great that the NFL, the PA, the team, has been able to get together and figure out a scenario where he can handle his responsibilities with his family, and also be here with us as well. We're going to just continue to pray for him and his family and hope that everything is going all right.”

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury called what Bidwill did “a tremendous gesture,” and added, “He's done that over the years for a lot of people and players and I'm hopeful Jordan can have a good weekend with his family and then be able to come back, focus and enjoy the Monday night game.”

General manager Steve Keim also talked about the situation Friday during his weekly appearance on the Dough & Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

“It's a great relief,” Keim said. “And it's honestly a tribute to our owner, Michael Bidwill, who behind the scenes — and doesn't want any credit — does so many things in the community and for our players and our families. That means so much. Hats off to the organization. And, most importantly, hats off to Michael and really how he treats people and how he runs this organization.”

This story will be updated when and if more details become available.

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