The Buffalo Bills entered Week 15 all but out of the postseason race, but that did not prevent Stevie Johnson from taking the field under the toughest of circumstances. Tim Graham of the Buffalo News reported that Johnson opted to play Sunday despite the unexpected death of his mother on Saturday. Johnson caught one pass for four yards in the Bills' 27-20 win over Jacksonville.
As one might expect, Johnson was "devastated," according to Graham. Johnson sports a tattoo with his mother's name, Rhonda, on his right arm.
Bills head coach Doug Marrone said in his postgame press conference that he respected Johnson's decision to play, according to WKBW's Jeff Russo.
We've seen NFL players take to the field as a means of working through tragedy in the past. Adrian Peterson played earlier this season shortly after the death of his infant son, and Brett Favre famously delivered a brilliant performance in the wake of his father's passing. The 27-year-old Johnson, a San Francisco native, figures to take some time away from the team in the coming days to tend to his family situation. The Bills, now 5-9, host Miami next Sunday.