Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell is away from the Boilermakers ahead of their Big Ten championship game on Saturday after the death of his older brother, Sean.
O’Connell returned home to the Chicago suburbs on Sunday to be with his family after the team’s win at Indiana. He has not returned to campus, and it’s unclear when he will do so.
O’Connell announced on Sunday Sean had died recently.
A message from Aidan O'Connell and his family.
Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/XDbg2d3bcU
— Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) November 27, 2022
The team did not provide a cause of death or say when Sean died, though it was before this past Saturday's game.
O’Connell was very emotional toward the end of their 30-16 win over Indiana, which clinched Purdue's spot in the Big Ten title game. Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said after the win that O’Connell has “got a lot going on right now,” but didn’t go into details.
“Well things happened very suddenly, so, yes, there was concern about whether he would be available to play [at Indiana], and understandably,” Brohm said Monday. “So, we just wanted to support him as he was going through that, be there for him, answer any questions he had. I think being around his teammates, I think, did slightly help. Then, of course, he had to manage all the emotions and the things he was going through, which I can’t imagine how hard it would be.
“I give Aidan a lot of credit. He did what he thought was best. He played his heart out for his teammates and gave us a great effort. Of course, he’s got things he has to deal with this week, as well, but I think we’ll be there to support him, and whenever we can get him back here to get back to work, we look forward to that.”
Brohm said Monday that he still expects O’Connell to play on Saturday in the Big Ten championship game against No. 2 Michigan in Indianapolis.
O’Connell has thrown for 3,124 yards and 22 touchdowns with 11 interceptions this season. The senior went 18-of-29 for 290 yards with two touchdowns against the Hoosiers.