San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has heaped praised on Marquise Goodwin after the wide receiver insisted on playing just hours his wife lost their son during complications in her pregnancy.
Shanahan, who’s been coaching in the NFL for 14 seasons, said he has seen players lose loved ones in days leading up to games and knows the mental weight it can carry.
The 49ers coach said he was ready to let Goodwin take time with his wife after she prematurely gave birth to their son, who then died of complications early Sunday morning.
But Goodwin instead decided to play and helped San Francisco get its first win of the season against the Giants after scoring an 83-yard touchdown.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin kneels to the ground after scoring a touchdown on Sunday just hours after his premature son died
Following the game, Goodwin posted this picture of him touching his child after the baby boy died early Sunday morning
49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he was ready to let Goodwin take time with his wife after she prematurely gave birth to their son but the wide receiver insisted on playing on Sunday
‘By the time I was able to talk to Marquise, he was hurting but he was adamant he wanted to play,’ Shanahan said Monday.
‘For a guy to go through that, to have those emotions, to go the whole night before and really not sleeping very much and come out there and have some very pivotal plays in that game, and make a huge difference, it says a lot about the guy.
‘Regardless of whether he played good or bad, the fact that he was out there and trying his hardest and trying to help was the most important.’
Shanahan said he first knew about the situation Saturday morning, when Goodwin told him that his wife, Morgan, was experiencing complications with the pregnancy.
He allowed Goodwin to be with her Saturday night and then heard about the news Sunday morning.
‘He was struggling with it for obvious reasons and he decided to play, which we were very grateful for,’ Shanahan said.
‘He did a hell of a job for his wife… being there for her and helped out his family from that aspect. And also helped out his family here too. I think he helped out every side and was pretty impressive yesterday.’
Goodwin’s wife also shared a picture of their lost son after she suffered complications during her pregnancy
Heartbreaking footage shows Goodwin scoring a touchdown and then dropping to his knees in prayer for his lost baby during Sunday’s game
Hours after Marquise Goodwin and his wife lost their newborn baby to pregnancy complications, he scored this emotional touchdown.
Our thoughts are with the Goodwin family. pic.twitter.com/QI7jeIxkac
— NFL UK (@NFLUK) November 13, 2017
Goodwin and Morgan, pictured above in March, met while on the track team at University of Texas, Austin. They were married last year and this would have been their first child
The wide receiver was clearly emotional while scoring the long touchdown Sunday.
He blew a kiss toward the sky as he crossed the goal line before falling to his knees in the end zone. Teammates on the field, and some from the sideline, ran to lift him back to his feet and show support.
Goodwin left the locker room on Sunday without speaking to reporters to be with his family before the news later broke hours after the game.
Following the game Goodwin posted his family’s tragic news on his Instagram account.
‘I just wanna thank those who’ve genuinely prayed for @morganakamomo & myself throughout this pregnancy.
‘Unfortunately we lost our baby boy due to some complications, and had to prematurely deliver him early this morning around 4am.
‘Although we are hurt, I am grateful for the experience and grateful that God blessed me with a wife as courageous and resilient as Morgan.
‘The pain (physically, mentally, & emotionally) that she has endured is unbelievable. Please Pray for the Goodwin family,’ Goodwin wrote.
After scoring the touchdown, Goodwin’s teammates gathered around and comforted him
Before Sunday’s game, Goodwin (right) could be seen crying on the sidelines as he was comforted by teammate Eric Reid, left
He posted a moving photo of him touching hands with his dead baby son.
Morgan also wrote about the devastating experience of losing her first-born son on Facebook.
‘This whole week has taken an emotional toll on my husband and I, Struggling to keep our healthy baby safe in my womb. However, God had other plans for us.
‘Today, I had to deliver my precious baby boy early this morning due to preterm labor. Despite our loss, my hubby kept grinding, scored his son a touchdown & got our first ‘W’ of the season. He had a wonderful game today.
‘I️ appreciate everyone who kept us in their prayers and constantly checked in on us. This was truly and an amazing experience and it was also a tragic experience. But that’s okay because we won’t stop fighting and we won’t give up on what God has in store for us.
‘It’s just important for us to remember that things happen for a reason, even though we may question ourselves ‘why us.’ Our faith is strong. I just ask that you let us mourn in peace and ask that you not try and call/blow our phone up,’ she wrote.
The Goodwins announced their pregnancy with this Instagram post in September
Morgan had been sharing pictures of her baby bump on social media recently (a picture from October 13 on the left and October 28 on the right)
It’s unclear how far along Morgan was.
The couple announced they were pregnant in September and said the baby was due in 2018. On September 19, she indicated that they were at the start of the second trimester, which means she would have been around 13 weeks pregnant at that time. That means Morgan would have been about five months pregnant on Sunday.
Goodwin and his wife were married last year and this was their first child together.
In addition to football, Goodwin is also a former track athlete who competed for Team USA in the long jump at the 2012 Olympics.
His wife is also a former track athlete, who specialized in the 100 meter hurdles.
They met while attending the University of Texas at Austin.
The couple were married just last year. This was their first child together