Matt and Melissa Bryant hold their infant son, Tryson, on the field at Raymond James Stadium prior to the Buccaneers' September 14 game against Atlanta
Tryson Bryant, the youngest son of Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Matt Bryant and wife Melissa, passed away Wednesday morning.
"The entire Buccaneer family is deeply saddened by this tragedy. The Bryants have been an inspiration to our entire community through their commitment to their family and their exhaustive efforts working with children and those in need in the Bay area. Our thoughts and prayers are with Matt and Melissa during this difficult time," said Buccaneers General Manager Bruce Allen.
Information regarding donations or expressions of sympathy will be announced as soon as arrangements have been made.
Head Coach Jon Gruden revealed the terrible news after practice on Wednesday. The team finished its practice with a huddled prayer on the field, then Gruden addressed the news with the assembled media.
"We had a terrible tragedy this morning," said Gruden. "We lost a key member of our family. Matt Bryant and Melissa lost their youngest son. I don't have a lot of details but...it's hard. Our prayers go out to the Bryants.
"We are just shocked and saddened by this. I just ask our fans to keep the Bryants in their prayers."
"Obviously the details will come later but it's just a horrible tragedy and I can't explain it. Again, I just ask the fans and the people that know Matt to keep him him in their prayers. It will be hard for him to overcome this but we've got to do the best we can right now."
"This puts things in real perspective. We'll deal with the football standpoint but we're more worried about Matt from a personal standpoint. He and Melissa are great friends."
Josh Bidwell, the Buccaneers' punter and a good friend of the Bryants, spent most of Wednesday with the grieving family.
"Like everyone, the news of Matt and Melissa Bryant's son Tryson hit me hard today," said Bidwell. "Having kids of my own I couldn't imagine the pain that is associated with such a terrible loss. The entire extended Buccaneers family will be there for the Bryants in every way possible to help them during this difficult time. We hope that everyone keeps them in their thoughts and prayers."
UPDATE: On Wednesday evening, the Bryant family issued the following statement:
"Melissa and I are overcome with the amount of support we have received from the community during this difficult time. We would like to thank our Buccaneers family and the Glazers for their support and outpouring of love.
"Tryson enriched our lives for the short time that he was with us and we will never forget his smile. We know Tryson's death has deeply touched the community and we appreciate the love and prayers from our Buccaneers fans."
The family would also like to thank Hillsborough County Fire Rescue and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Tryson's name to March of Dimes, 405 North Reo Street, Suite 105, Tampa, FL 33609. For more information, please call (813) 287-2600.