If you're going to miss valuable time during NFL training camp, you'd better have fantastic excuse.
Turns out, your wife running in the Olympics will do the trick.
Aaron Ross is being allowed to miss a few days of his first training camp with the Jaguars in early August to travel to London to support his wife, Sanya Richards-Ross, as she runs for the gold in the Olympics. Ross signed with Jacksonville as a free agent this offseason and explained how he was able to score the get-out-of-training-camp card.
"I asked them earlier before I got signed if I could go. They talked about it and came to an agreement that I could miss a couple of days to watch my wife run. They preach family-first here, so that was a big part of it," Ross told the Florida Times-Union. "That's huge. That's really huge. It speaks volumes about what they're trying to preach here. They’re not just preaching it. They're actually showing it firsthand. It was important to me and they made it happen."
Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey in particular felt the importance of allowing Ross to travel across the pond.
"You certainly don't want somebody to miss something like that. A birth, your wife in the Olympics. I don't know anybody who's had that chance," Mularkey said.
Richards-Ross has yet to officially qualify for the London Olympics, but she's favored to win the gold medal. Ross will only be able to watch his bride run in the finals, and needless to say, his wife is pleased.
"She was very excited. She wasn’t planning on me coming. I was going to try, but she knows how football is around training camp. She wasn’t expecting it, so when I gave her the call and told her that [general manager] Gene [Smith] and coach [Mike] Mularkey allowed me to come, she was more than excited,” he said.
Ross helped the New York Giants win Super Bowl XLII, and he was injured during last year's run to the title. The Jaguars gave Ross a three-year, $15.3 million contract in late March.
-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.
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