RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Ken Lucas is home in Mississippi to bury his father, but he will play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
"He will absolutely play," Seahawks coach Jim Mora said Wednesday. "But (we're) respecting the fact that he lost someone significant in his life, his father. And there's more important things in life than a football game."
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Lucas will miss all the team's main practices and preparation for the Cardinals' high-powered passing offense to remain home through Friday's burial. The nine-year NFL veteran decided to stay in Seattle and start in last weekend's victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars less than 48 hours after he found out his father, Clyde, had unexpectedly died.
Mora, a former walk-on linebacker at the University of Washington and the son of a former NFL head coach by the same name, said he can't imagine playing in such a situation. He lauded Lucas for how he got through an extremely difficult weekend.
"Kenny poured his heart out Sunday, stayed and played -- played well," Mora said. "It was emotional. It was tough on him. He needs some time to grieve and be with his family. He's going to have to bury his father on Friday. That's going to be tough. But he'll come back and he'll be a pro about it."
According to the players' union, Lucas' father had overcome lung cancer. He was diagnosed with the disease in 2002, during his son's second season with the Seahawks.
"It's sad to say, but up until that point, I really didn't know if I truly cared about my dad," Lucas said in an article from July 2008 posted on the NFL Players Association Web site. "But I feel like (the cancer diagnosis) was a way to bring us together.
"When my mom (Deborah) called and told me, the first thing I asked her was, 'Is my dad going to die?' Even though things were not always peaches and cream growing up, I never really knew that I truly loved him until she called and told me he had lung cancer. That was when things got better between my dad and me."
Lucas left Seattle as a free agent following the 2004 season. He returned this offseason as a free agent after spending four seasons with the Carolina Panthers.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press