News of the death of Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones' son rocked the NFL community over the weekend. The boy, Marlo, was just six months-old. Jones announced the news on Saturday evening in an emotional Instagram post, and did not play in Sunday's season finale against the Green Bay Packers.
After that game, which the Lions lost in the final seconds, head coach Matt Patricia spoke about the tragic events.
"Marvin is a very special person. His family – it's a wonderful family," Patrica told ESPN's Michael Rothstein. "He and Jazmyn are great people, and my heart is just so saddened for them and with them right now. I was very happy to see him today."
Before the game, the team paid tribute to Marlo with an emotional ceremony. Jones was on the sidelines for it along with the rest of his family. Afterwards, he shared an Instagram post about that event.
"Marlito, I still can't believe you're not here with us, but you're up there looking at us with this smile. THE WORLD LOVES YOU SON. I LOVE YOU SON ... My heart ... Pa Forever!" Jones wrote in Spanish.
The team issued a statement about the death on Saturday, as well.
"Earlier today, we were informed by Marvin and Jazmyn Jones about the sudden passing of their youngest son, Marlo. The Detroit Lions fully support Marvin and Jazmyn during this extremely difficult time. Marvin and Jazmyn embody the true meaning of family, and the example they set has made them an inspiration to so many in our community. We thank everyone for the outpouring of support. On behalf of the Jones family, we ask that everyone respect the privacy of the matter at this time."
Jones' initial announcement of the news had a long, heartfelt tribute to his young son.
"Yesterday the Lord called home a piece of my family's heart, Marlo. It is hard to believe that our little angel, our fighter from day one, our son 'Marlito' has unfortunately passed away and is no longer here with us. Marlo, the joy that you brought to us everyday, with that smile, and that energy was like heaven on earth. You will always be in our hearts. We will always remember you. We did not get the chance to hear your first words (It would've been in Spanish too).
We didn't get to see you run with your brothers and sister, you ran with them with your eyes everyday. We know that everything that We do from here on out will be with you. Every step we take, you will be with us. Whenever we have a bad day, We will think of your smile. We miss you already buddy and will forever love you. Rest peacefully our sweet baby boy. You have gained your wings"