Marquise Goodwin said he wasn’t prepared to play in Sunday’s game.
The 49ers wide receiver hadn’t practiced during the week, had hardly slept, had missed team meetings. His wife, Morgan, began having a complications with her pregnancy a week before the game and he rushed to the hospital Saturday night to be with her.
At 3:52 a.m. Sunday she delivered a still-born son that Morgan told People Magazine the couple had planned to name Marquise Goodwin Jr.
“I felt joy in holding my baby even though it was a sad moment,” Morgan told the magazine. “I was so amazed. His eyes were still shut at this point, but the hands, the feet. He looked exactly like his daddy.”
Marquise said Tuesday he was prepared to remain with his wife throughout the day on Sunday – “I just really wasn’t in it” he said of the game – but that she insisted he play.
“She raised my spirits up and helped me get ready for the game,” he said. “That’s what’s so cool about the situation. My wife – how supportive she is and how encouraging she is and all these great things that she’s done 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.”
Goodwin, 26, went on to have his best outing of the season, one that included an 83-yard touchdown catch – the 49ers’ longest in 12 years – that ended with him blowing a kiss to the sky and then collapsing to his knees when he crossed the goal line. Goodwin also had an 18-yard run and delivered the block that sprang tight end Garrett Celek on his 47-yard touchdown.
Before the game, Goodwin shared his tragedy with a handful of players, including his fellow receivers, safety Eric Reid and his cousin, safety Adrian Colbert. He also met with the team chaplain, Earl Smith, and told coach Kyle Shanahan what had happened.
“By the time I was able to talk to Marquise, he was hurting, but he was adamant he wanted to play,” Shanahan said Monday. “That’s something as a coach you respect. You don’t want someone just to tell it to you because that’s what you want to hear as a coach. You want someone to tell it to you because they mean it. And you could tell ’Quise meant it.”
Marquise and Morgan met at the University of Texas where they both ran track. They married last year and Morgan said the two would continue to try to have a baby.
Both posted messages to their social media accounts soon after their son died on Sunday. Why share such an emotional event, Marquise was asked?
For one, he said people knew Morgan was pregnant and that he wanted to “narrate my own story.” The couple also has been overwhelmed by the support and compassion they’ve received and wanted to offer a message of strength and resolve to those dealing with their own misfortunes.
“Never stop believing,” he said. “The reward will last longer than the pain. Just because something that you wanted your whole life didn’t quite worked out as you planned it to – a lot of times it’s not supposed to work out how you wanted it to. It will grow you as a person and make you better. And I know my wife and I will be better after this situation.”