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Goodwin says his wife and faith led him to play

From ESPN - November 14, 2017

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Only hours after his baby boy's death, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin arrived at the team hotel to check in before Sunday's game against the New York Giants.

After his wife, Morgan, encouraged him to play, the usually dapper Goodwin arrived in sweats, having come directly from the hospital after their son was delivered stillborn in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Goodwin had not slept after spending the night by his wife's side and he was about to play in a professional football game wholly unprepared, save for the two most important influences in his life: his faith and his wife.

"Honest to God truth, the only reason I made it through the game is because of my faith in God," Goodwin said Tuesday. "I mentally and physically was not prepared to play in the game. At all. I really did not even practice that week, I was just going through a lot. Just trying to get my body rested from the week before and the week before that. Coming into the game, I was not really in it because I had just lost my baby. My wife, we prayed about it and I guess she felt that God moved her to allow me to go play and she encouraged me. She raised my spirits up and helped me get ready for the game.

"So that's what's so cool about the situation is, my wife, how supportive she is and how encouraging she is, all these great things that she does for me to help me go out there and play the way that I did. I think it speaks more about her character than mine because here she is, she could be holding me back, she could make me feel guilty about having to go and play football, which is just a game in the grand scheme of things and what we dealt with was a real-life situation, a death. Not only a death but a death to our infant child. So, situations like that, you only make it through that with your faith in God."

Goodwin did not just play against the Giants, he also contributed two of the biggest plays of the game in helping the 49ers to their first win of the season. He threw a key block to spring tight end Garrett Celek for a 47-yard touchdown and caught an 83-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

On his long touchdown catch, Goodwin blew a kiss to the sky before crossing the goal line and then knelt in the end zone to pray as the emotion poured out of him.

"All the pain that I was feeling at the time, it just came over me at once," Goodwin said. "It was not something that was planned. If you had lost something that you wanted more than anything, something that you expected because you could see it without seeing it, you would know how I felt in that situation. So just to be able to score a touchdown and ultimately help my team get a win was just a great moment in my life and it's a moment that I will remember forever because I could have easily not been at the game and that never would have happened. Nobody would have ever known about this story and we would not be able to help ourselves and then be able to help other people along the way (in) healing. I am grateful that I was able to play in the game and get a touchdown."

In the midst of the highlight-reel touchdown catch and crushing block, Goodwin could also be seen kneeling over an injured Giant in prayer. It's part of a faith-based approach Goodwin said he adopted when he got old enough to understand it and has been a regular part of his life since.

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