Marshal Yanda was back at Ravens headquarters today after missing yesterday's practice, and he was sporting a giant smile on his face.
The Ravens' starting right tackle was excused from practice and meetings on Thursday to be with his fiancÃ© as she gave birth to their first child.
The big moment came at 7:43 p.m. last night when Marshal and Shannon welcomed Graham Yanda into the world.
"It was awesome. Best day of my life, no question," Marshal said. "Watching it come out and then cry, and then to be able to hold him and stuff, it was awesome. There's nothing better. People always tell you that's a life changer, and you keep it in the back of your mind, but you don't ever prepare for it until it comes out like that. Awesome day."
As could be expected, the son of an NFL offensive lineman was rather hefty. He weighed in at 8lbs, 6oz. and was 21 Â¾ inches long.
The Yandas actually timed it out so that the birth would happen mid-week, so that Marshal wouldn't have to miss Sunday's game against the Panthers. They had Shannon induced on Thursday, which allowed Marshal to be there for the birth and get back to Ravens HQ today.
"She was probably going to have it this weekend, and I didn't want to be gone for the Carolina game," Marshal said. "So, we induced her on Thursday and kind of figured it'd be best. I'd practice Wednesday, get Thursday and then practice again today and be ready tomorrow and take off tomorrow. So, we planned it that way."
Marshal and Shannon will be married July 1 of next year, but they got an early wedding present yesterday.
Head coach John Harbaugh said he was happy to let Marshal have the day off yesterday to be with his fiancÃ© and family for the big moment.
"I think it was neat to be able to go experience that," Harbaugh said. "I think it's really important. It speaks a little bit to what we want to be about as an organization."