Baby delivery delays keep Lions' Eli Harold sidelined vs. Packers
Allen Park — Detroit Lions linebacker Eli Harold's plan was to play against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. His baby had other ideas.
Harold was excused from Wednesday's practice for his wife's prenatal checkup, but the couple surprisingly learned Kelsey was having contractions.
After determining nothing was imminent the couple was sent home that afternoon and an appointment was made for Kelsey to be induced the next morning.
But that too was pushed back. When Eli and Kelsey pulled into the hospital parking lot, the hospital called. The birthing center was busier than expected, and since they weren't an emergency, the appointment was pushed back to 5 p.m.
Further delays at the hospital resulted in Kelsey not being induced until 1 a.m. and baby Zuri didn't arrive until 8 a.m. Friday morning.
Mother and daughter are healthy, but the chaos of the process cost Harold the full week of practice. Given that fact, the Lions opted to keep him inactive on Sunday, allowing him to stay home with his family.
Lions coach Matt Patricia has a reputation for encouraging family over football, and Harold confirmed that Patricia was supportive throughout the process.
"He was 100 percent supportive," Harold said. "We were talking. It was late at night, obviously, he was game-planning and everything, but he was very supportive and told me to take as much time as I needed to be with my family and make sure the baby was healthy."
Harold was acquired by the Lions in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers in August. The former third-round pick has thrived in his new environment, recording three sacks in four games.