Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Matt Cassel has decided to endure the grieving process surrounded by his teammates.
The New England Patriots quarterback, whose father was found dead Tuesday morning, returned to the team Thursday and practiced at San Jose State in preparation for Sunday's big game against the Oakland Raiders.
Cassel left the Patriots on Wednesday to be with his family in Southern California. There had been no indication of how long Cassel would be gone. The funeral is scheduled for Monday.
"Maybe being around the guys might ease [things] a bit," said fullback Heath Evans in a Boston Globe blog by reporter Christopher L. Gasper. "I don't know that for a fact. [But when I saw him this morning] I kind of wanted to wrap my arms around him and tell him I love him. At this time, that's about the only thing you can know how to do. Hopefully, we can be of some encouragement to him and that helps him out."