Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith plans to play with a heavy heart during Monday night’s game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J.
Smith will take the field five days after his girlfriend Petara Cordero was killed on a highway in Cleveland. Cordero, who had a daughter — Haven — with Smith last month, was 26.
“I am going to play tonight because it is something, she would want me to do,” Smith said in a statement. “She would want me to keep doing what I love and stay strong. I play for her tonight. She is my why.”
Smith had pulled over early Wednesday morning after his vehicle, a 2019 Lamborghini, blew a tire and hit the median. Cordero exited the car and was standing on the road’s shoulder when a vehicle driven by a 47-year-old woman smashed into the passenger side of Smith’s car.
Cordero was taken to Cleveland Clinic-Fairview Hospital and was pronounced dead.
Smith, 27, is in his second season with the Browns after spending three years with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2014-16) and one with the Cincinnati Bengals (2017).
–Field Level Media