Green Bay, Wis. — Defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila intends to be at his wife's side for the birth of their baby - even though the due date coincides with the Green Bay Packers' game with the Minnesota Vikings.
"That's just the due date," Gbaja-Biamila said of Dec. 8, when the Packers and Vikings play a night game. "You don't know when it's going to happen. It could be before, it could be late. You never know. Whenever that time comes, God willing if I'm still alive, I'm going to be there with my wife.
"My goal is to be there with my wife, to support her," he said. "She's my first priority, and I like to think of her as my teammate. She's going through a time right now in her life that I'd like to be there to support her."
Gbaja-Biamila leads the Packers (8-3) and ranks fourth in the NFL with 10 sacks this season entering today's home game against Chicago. The third-year pro from San Diego State has started the last six games at right end in place of Joe Johnson, who's out for the season after tearing a triceps in the first meeting with the Bears on Oct. 7.
Coach Mike Sherman was tight-lipped in response to Gbaja-Biamila's comments.
"I don't have anything in regard to that," Sherman said. "To be honest with you, we haven't talked about it."
News of Gbaja-Biamila's intentions struck a nerve with a few players who didn't like the idea that he might miss a game.
Defensive lineman Billy Lyon said Gbaja-Biamila has to make a tough choice, not unlike what Lyon encountered earlier this season. His wife, Tasha, was due to deliver the couple's third child the weekend of the game at Detroit on Sept. 22. The birth was induced Sept. 17.
"It was her idea," Lyon said. "She didn't want me to be out of town (in case) something happened."