Simply 5 days after his girlfriend was tragically killed by an alleged drunk driver, NFL participant Chris Smith returned to the sphere Monday night time within the Browns recreation in opposition to the New York Jets — and the defensive finish did so with a particular tribute in Petara Cordero‘s honor.

Smith, 27, sported some Nike cleats with the phrases “Stay Strong” written in orange, which he shared on his Instagram Story on Monday earlier within the day earlier than the sport. He additionally shared a photograph of Cordero carrying a Browns jersey with the caption “My W H Y … #staystrong❤

Cordero had these phrases tattooed on her chest, and Smith beforehand revealed that he and several other different of their family members added the identical ink within the wake of her loss of life.

He additionally shared a photograph of their daughter Haven Harris Smith carrying a Browns onesie.

“I am going to play tonight because it is something she would want me to do,” Smith stated in a press release obtained by PEOPLE earlier on Monday. “She would want me to keep doing what I love and stay strong.”

“I play for her tonight. She is my why,” he stated.

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My W H Y … #staystrong❤

A post shared by C. Smith (@98chrissmith) on Sep 16, 2019 at 10:28am PDT


RELATED: NFL Star Chris Smith Breaks His Silence After Girlfriend’s Tragic Dying: ‘She’s in a Higher Place’

After information of Cordero’s passing, the Browns administration stated in a press release that Smith may determine how a lot time he wanted to grieve, and Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens stated in a press convention Thursday, “we just want to support him in any way we can.”

Cordero, who gave delivery to their daughter Haven only one month in the past, died final Wednesday after being hit by a automotive on I-90 West in Cleveland when she and Smith obtained out of their car as a result of their tire blew out. She was 26.

RELATED: Chris Smith Will Play with the Cleveland Browns on Monday, Almost 1 Week After Girlfriend’s Dying

Smith opened up about his beloved one’s loss of life over the weekend in an Instagram publish.

“God has a plan for all of us we can’t understand but she is in a better place now and she can rest easy,” he wrote alongside a slideshow of images that included Cordero. “My wifey, my finest good friend and the mom of my stunning daughter. Love you child❤🙏🏾 #StayStrong🙏🏾🥰❤ #RIPMyLove”

The Browns defeated the Jets 23-Three in Monday night time’s recreation.

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