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This Thanksgiving is a Fuller family affair

11/27/2014
With their sons playing on opposite sides Thursday, the Fuller's parents got creative with jerseys. Courtesy of Fuller family

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Vincent Fuller went to the tailor Friday night to pick up a special order -- one 20-plus years in the making.

Fuller has four children. They all play football. All played at Virginia Tech. Three of them now in the NFL. Yet this week could be a first for the family and a rarity in the NFL.

On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, the Fullers hope they'll see two of their four boys on the field at the same time when Corey Fuller's Detroit Lions face Kyle Fuller's Chicago Bears. The extra hope is they would match up against each other since Corey is a receiver and Kyle is a cornerback. So Vincent Fuller and his wife, Nina, had two jerseys custom-made.

"We just wanted to represent both our kids," Vincent said from Maryland on Saturday. "Me and my wife are the only ones who have it. We're going to have a Chicago and a Detroit jersey mixed with No. 23 and No. 10 on the same jersey."

Whether or not Kyle and Corey actually line up against one another is in doubt. Kyle hurt his knee Sunday, leaving his status in doubt, although Chicago coach Marc Trestman said he was "hopeful" Kyle would play Thursday.

If it happens, it'll be the culmination of two brothers starting their sibling competitions in the basement of their home playing carpet football and baseball. Of the four Fuller brothers, Corey and Kyle are the closest in age, less than two years apart. The two competed in everything along with their younger brother, Kendall, who plays for Virginia Tech.

In that basement, the two groomed their future competitiveness with rug burns on their knees and tears in their eyes whenever one of them would lose an argument, usually with Kendall serving as de facto referee.

It also honed the start of their trash-talk, which Vincent said started about this game in September when Kyle intercepted two passes against San Francisco. He said Corey texted Kyle and typed he wouldn't do that against the Lions.

"I'm like, ‘Man, it's September and you're already going to talk trash already,'" Vincent said. "But that's how they are. It's all in fun. They love each other. They help each other out. They got each others' back.

"But it's all in fun."

The fun would increase Thursday if Corey and Kyle line up opposite one another.

Thinking about the possibility last week, Corey broke out into a big grin and started laughing. He said they never discussed the possibility as kids or in college, either, especially when Corey first went to Kansas to run track before transferring to Virginia Tech to start playing football again.

"If I run out there and see Kyle, my first play, I might laugh," Corey said. "Not laugh at him, just laugh at the fact that this is real. I'm playing my brother in an NFL game.

"But then, from there, it's I got to do what I got to do to help the team, and he's got to do what he has got to do. It'll be like any other game competing. So we'll see."

Not quite like any other game. Corey said he and his brother would absolutely talk trash to each other on the field and might even throw in some extra nudges and shoves for brotherly measure. Just like in their basement.

"It's going to be pretty cool," Kyle said last week. "I'm definitely looking forward to it. It makes it even more fun with it being Thanksgiving because the whole family will be there."

Almost. Kendall will be at the site of the Fuller family's last four Thanksgiving dinners and Nina and Vincent's destination Friday morning -- Blacksburg, Virginia. Otherwise, everyone is expected in suburban Detroit on Wednesday night and Thursday for pregame and postgame Thanksgiving meals.

Vincent said Kyle received permission from the Bears to stay in Detroit on Thursday night to have dinner with the family. Depending on the outcome of the game, that dinner consisting of turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, turnips and Nina's famous sauerkraut dish might be even more interesting.

"I don't know what's going to happen Thursday, but I can imagine what dinner is going to be like," Vincent said. "Especially if they do go up against one another and Corey gets a pass on Kyle or let's say Corey's thrown the ball and Kyle deflects the ball or intercepts the ball.

"I can imagine what's going to go on."

Without a doubt, there will be trash talked. Laughs had among the 15 family members and friends expected to show. Because right now, the Fullers will potentially see two of their own play on Thanksgiving Day and for a family forever focused on football, not much can be better than that.

NFL Nation Chicago Bears reporter Michael C. Wright contributed to this report.