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Detroit Lions played final game with heavy hearts after loss of WR Marvin Jones’ infant son

DETROIT —The Detroit Lions played their last game of the season with heavy hearts.

Wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr.’s infant son died suddenly on Friday, Dec. 27, he said on Instagram.

“Yesterday the Lord called home a piece of my family’s heart, Marlo,” Jones said in a post Saturday night. “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.”

Jones, a 29-year-old receiver in his eighth year in the NFL, posts often about his wife Jazmyn and their five children on Instagram. He posted a video in July that showed their kids greeting baby Marlo after his birth. The family shared a Christmas video just days ago.

In October, Jones partnered with Pampers to help install 5,000 changing tables in public restrooms across the US and Canada by 2021, and on Thanksgiving, he and his children read heartfelt letters to each other for a segment on Fox.

The Lions said in a statement Saturday night that they were informed earlier in the day of Marlo’s sudden passing.

“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,” the team said.

There was a moment of silence at Ford Field before Sunday’s game against Green Bay, and the Lions turned in an inspired performance, although they ultimately lost 23-20 on a last-second field goal.

“Wanted to play for our family that was hurting,” quarterback David Blough said. “We were playing hard and guys were executing well. It’s a bummer we couldn’t finish it.”

A team spokesman said Marlo was about 6 months old.

Detroit lost nine games in a row to finish the season, but against a Green Bay team that needed a win to earn a first-round bye in the playoffs, the Lions showed plenty of pride, and Jones was obviously on a lot of minds.

“It’s a wonderful family,” coach Matt Patricia said. “My heart is just so saddened for them. … I was very happy to see him today.”

Jones played in nine games for the Lions this year before an ankle injury in December ended his season. He had 62 catches for 779 yards and nine touchdowns this season, including a four-touchdown game against the Minnesota Vikings in October.

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