Torrey Smith Shines Despite Heavy Heart


Torrey Smith went through a whirlwind of emotions Sunday.

Less than 24 hours after losing his younger brother Tevin in a motorcycle accident, Smith suited up for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots.

And he had one of the most-memorable games of his young career. He led the Ravens with six catches for 127 yards and two key touchdowns, as the Ravens took down the Patriots 31-30 at M&T Bank Stadium.

"Obviously you play with a heavy heart, you want to play for that person," Smith said.

Tevin Chris Jones, 19, died early Sunday morning and the Ravens played Sunday night's game with Tevin at the forefront of their minds.

"We dedicate that victory to Tevin and the whole family," Head Coach John Harbaugh said after the game.

Smith learned of the news about his brother around 1 a.m. Sunday and he left the team hotel to go and be with his family in northeast Virginia. At the time, he was unsure whether he would return to play Sunday night.

He said that he only had about an hour of sleep and decided to play around 4 p.m. when he got to the stadium.  Smith's emotion was still raw after the game.  He was grieving the loss of his brother, but was also appreciative of the  support of his teammates during a trying time.  

"This is new territory for me personally. I never really had to deal with a death in the family, let alone my brother," Smith said. "I didn't want to hurt my team. I came here, the more I was running, the more comfortable I started to feel. I'm glad I came back up here. I think it helped me out a lot."

Harbaugh left the decision to play in Smith's hands.

"When Torrey said he wanted to play, then the decision was finished," Harbaugh said. "He was going to get the opportunity to play, he deserved that."

When Smith first told his mother that he was going to play, her response was, "Of course [Tevin] would want you to play."

Smith wore the emotion of his loss on his face before the game. After the national anthem, television cameras caught him sitting on the Ravens bench, wiping tears away from his eyes.

Once he got on the field, the second-year wide receiver quickly showed that he was in for a special night.

He scored the Ravens' first touchdown in the second quarter, hauling in a 25-yard pass to cut the Patriots lead to 13-7. After falling to the ground while making the catch, he took a knee and pointed up to the sky.

"I just said a quick prayer, took a knee," Smith said. "[Tevin] admired me so much, which is what makes it so much [harder], and it's just a tough situation altogether. I'm just glad I was here with my family."

When the Ravens needed another play in the fourth quarter, Smith once again answered the call. He caught a 5-yard touchdown with four minutes, eight seconds remaining in the game, cutting the Patriots lead to just two points.

As he walked over to the sideline after the score, the crowd chanted "Torrey, Torrey!"

"I can't imagine what he's going through," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "Torrey plays like this all the time, and for him to come out and be able to play football the way he did tonight, it says a lot about just who he is."

Smith was Flacco's top target on the night, as Flacco threw his way 10 times. From the time Flacco first talked with Smith in the locker room before the game, he knew his receiver wanted to be on the field and was ready for the moment.

"He seemed like he wanted to play football and [was] ready to go out there and help us get a win," Flacco said. "That was great and we all wanted to rally around him and go get it for him."

Smith leaned on his teammates and coaches for support.

"He's got two families and he knows we have his back," running back Ray Rice said.

Ravens safety Ed Reed, who tragically lost his brother during the 2010 season, offered Smith some words of encouragement before the game.

"There's just something about having two families," Reed said. "When I went through losing my brother, being around these guys, it really helped me to get through."

Before the game, the Ravens held a moment of silence at the stadium.

"That touched me right there," Smith said. "The fact that the organization took the time out to honor my brother, one of my family members, who had absolutely nothing to do with this program besides me, it meant a lot."

That moment was a reminder of everything that Smith loves about being a member of the Ravens.

"The way they care about you, that's the reason I wanted to be in Baltimore," Smith said. "That's the reason I wanted to be a Raven."

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