As the final seconds were ticking from the clock Sunday, receiver Marquise Goodwin pointed to the sky and then doubled over in emotion.
The 49ers’ first win of the season wasn’t the cause of his expression. Instead he revealed afterward that he and his wife, Morgan, had lost a child during delivery hours before the game began.
“Unfortunately we lost our baby boy due to some complications, and had to prematurely deliver him early this morning around 4 am,” he wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Goodwin, 26, won over fans during the summer when cameras caught him giving a warm pep talk to Austin DeMello, an 11-year-old with brain cancer who visited a team practice in August.
“Just know that you have a lot of people who love and care about you – including the 49ers,” he told the boy.
DeMello passed away last month. Goodwin has remained in contact with his family and on Thursday he was seated at his locker writing comforting words on a photo of him and their son.
“I just feel for them,” Goodwin said Thursday. “In those situations, I try to put myself in their shoes. Like, ‘What if that was me?’ Or, ‘What if that was my sister? How would I want people to see her?’ So I treat them with utmost respect and treat them with as much love as I can because obviously you never know when your time is (up). If I can change somebody’s life, help their life by just interacting with them, it means a lot.”
Goodwin started as usual on Sunday and was part of the 49ers’ longest play of the season, an 83-yard touchdown catch and run in the second quarter. It was one yard shorter than his career-long reception, a touchdown that came last year when he was with the Buffalo Bills. Goodwin also delivered the block that sprung tight end Garrett Celek on his 47-yard touchdown catch.
Through 10 games, Goodwin already has a career-high 500 receiving yards.