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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Bryant's infant son dies



Matthew (Tryson) Bryant, the youngest son of Bucs kicker Matt Bryant and his wife, Melissa, passed away early this morning.

''We had a terrible tragedy this morning,'' Bucs coach Jon Gruden said. "We lost a key member of our family.''

Gruden said 3-month-old Tryson "just didn't wake up''. He didn't have any further information.

"We're just shocked and very saddened by this,'' Gruden said. "I don't have any other details. I just ask our fans to keep the Bryants in their prayers.''

Hillsborough Sheriff's deputies responded to the Bryant family's address around 7:30 a.m. in reference to a 3-month-old boy.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said the baby's mother discovered the infant was not breathing as she made the rounds to wake up the kids and get them ready for school.

The death is not considered suspicious, Carter said.

"The entire Buccaneer family is deeply saddened by this tragedy,'' said Bucs general manager Bruce Allen. "The Bryants have been an inspiration to the 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.''

After practice, the team kneeled together in prayer.

"I would just appreciate it if we could give Matt some privacy right now,'' Gruden said. "Obviously, the details will come later. But it's just a horrible tragedy and we can't explain it. I just ask the fans and people who know Matt to keep him in their prayers. It'll be hard for him to overcome this, but we've got to do the best we can right now.''

Punter Josh Bidwell, who holds on kicks for Bryant, was hit hard by the news.

"Having kids of my own, I couldn’t imagine the pain that is associated with such a terrible loss,'' Bidwell said. "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.”

Any decision about who will kick Sunday against the Packers can wait, Gruden said.

"This puts things in real perspective,'' Gruden said. "We'll deal with it from a football standpoint. We're just worried about Matt's personal standpoint. He and Melissa. They're great friends.''

Information regarding donations or expressions of sympathy will be announced as soon as arrangements have been made.

-- Rick Stroud and Rebecca Catalanello, Times Staff Writers

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:12pm]


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