With a heavy heart, Mason Crosby comes through for Packers

Packers kicker Mason Crosby
K Mason Crosby

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Packers kicker Mason Crosby played with a heavy heart Sunday after the passing two days earlier of his sister-in-law, Brittany, following her three-year battle with ovarian cancer.

Upon hearing the news on Friday morning, Crosby and his wife, Molly, flew from Green Bay to Texas to join his brother, Rees, and the rest of their family. He rejoined the team in New York on Saturday and played in his 204th consecutive regular-season game on Sunday against the New York Giants.

With Brittany and Rees in his thoughts, Crosby made all five kicks he attempted, including a 47-yard field goal in the second quarter, to help Green Bay claim a 31-13 victory at MetLife Stadium.

“We’ve had a tough couple days as a family,” said Crosby afterward. “I’ve just been praying and everyone just keep Brittany, my sister-in-law’s family, in your prayers, and my brother and our family. It’s not anything you ever want to go through. She fought ’til the end.”

Brittany, who was diagnosed at only 27 years old, underwent surgery nine days prior to Mason making two of the biggest kicks of his career to propel the Packers to the NFC Championship Game with a 34-31 win over Dallas at AT&T Stadium in January 2017.

Mason wore a teal wristband in support of Brittany during that game, which Brittany saw as she recovered at her home in Georgetown, Texas. The next season, after her initial rounds of chemotherapy, Brittany was in attendance when the Packers beat the Cowboys, 35-31, in the same venue in October 2017.

Over the past two years, Brittany and Rees had joined Mason’s effort in supporting the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation. The couple even flew to Green Bay to spend time with Molly after she underwent surgery to remove a cancerous neuroendocrine tumor from her lung this past August.

Despite high emotions and long travel days, Mason didn’t let on to what he had been dealing with personally. To onlookers, there was nothing to suggest anything out of the norm for the veteran kicker.

To those who knew Crosby best, however, they understood how difficult the past 72 hours were for the Packers’ longtime kicker.

“Tough situation for sure, especially to find out like he did Friday morning after Thanksgiving, when we’re all counting our blessings,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “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.”

Right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who has been teammates with Crosby since 2010, added: “Obviously, it’s a really tough situation for him. Our hearts are go out to him and his family. He’s a true pro. You saw it. He was here. He did his job and did it at a high level. It just speaks to the type of guy he is.”

On the field Sunday, Mason was Mason. He converted all four of his extra points and was cool, calm and collected in drilling the 47-yarder that gave Green Bay its first two-score lead with 12 minutes left in the first half.

Professionally, Crosby is on pace for a career year. He’s made 14-of-15 field goals (93.3%) on the season and all 33 extra points. Dating back to Week 6 of last year, Crosby has converted on 33-of-36 field goals.

Crosby said he was traveling back to Texas immediately after the game for a private family gathering Monday. He’ll then return to Green Bay for two days before returning to Texas again on Friday for the funeral.

“I’m going to fly right back to Austin and be with my brother and spend a couple of days with him,” Crosby said. “I’m just so thankful for this organization and the way they handled this tragedy, and the fact that they didn’t blink at all to make it so I could go be with my brother.”

Look inside the Packers' locker room as Mason Crosby receives the game ball after the snowy Week 13 win.

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