Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Cardale Jones missed some practice time last week to witness the birth of his son, but apparently that almost wasn't the case. Per ESPN's Mike Rodak, Jones was "less than a mile away" from arriving at practice before head coach Rex Ryan told him to turn around and head back to Cleveland to attend to the "personal thing." His girlfriend went into labor shortly after he arrived and gave birth to Owen, Jones' second child.
According to Vic Carucci, Jones was "extremely shocked that he did that" and that the gesture "threw [him] for a spin." He also notes that Jones was coming from Cleveland, so the three-hour drive to practice gave way to an equally-long return trip.
It was something that was important to the Bills coach. Last week, Ryan told the assembled media he had to force Jones to leave. He told the quarterback, "You'll regret that decision the rest of your life." It's not often that a coach will tell a player to skip practice, especially a rookie quarterback as raw as Jones. Considering how unlikely it is that Jones will see the field for meaningful action this season, skipping an OTA for the birth of his child isn't going to make a huge difference for his career in the long run.
Jones signed his rookie deal on Tuesday after returning to the team facilities. The past week is certainly one he'll remember for the rest of his life.