Cassel's father passes away

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Quarterback Matt Cassel, who has handled the pressure and angst surrounding the New England Patriots and their delicate playoff hopes with aplomb, will need to dig even deeper Sunday.

The Boston Herald is reporting Cassel's father, Greg, has passed away.

According to a Sept. 14 article in the Boston Globe, Greg Cassel was a screenwriter-turned-horse trainer. When Matt was young, his family lived in Northridge, Calif. But his parents divorced when he was 14. Greg Cassel eventually moved to San Bernardino, Calif.

The Patriots are in California this week. They remained out West in between road games against the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders.

Herald reporter Karen Guregian wrote Patriots players had Wednesday off and Cassel's status for the rest of the week is unknown. The club declined to comment.