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Bills receiver Stevie Johnson played against Jaguars despite death of his mother on Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson is used to playing through pain.

Nothing could have prepared Johnson for the agony he put aside against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Johnson received a call from his stepfather on Saturday night and was told his mother, Rhonda Lewis, died at her home in Northern California. She was 48, and her death was unexpected, according to

After deliberating with Bills coach Doug Marrone and cornerback Ron Brooks, Johnson decided to play on Sunday. He finished with 4 yards on one reception.

“I felt I went all week with the boys and whatever I can do to help out the team,” Johnson told “I felt I should give it my all no matter what. It was tough, but we got the win, and I’m happy about that. I’m sure she’s happy about that.”

According to, Johnson wrote his mother a message on his eye-black stickers during the game: “Hi” under his right eye and “MOM,” with a heart where the “O” should be, under his left eye.

“I was in and out [emotionally], but I knew what the main goal was,” Johnson told “It wasn’t taking away from the team and thinking about my mother. It was trying to get the victory since I’m here. I think I played it well.”

Johnson reportedly flew back to Buffalo on the team’s charter plane Sunday night.

Speaking for all the writers at Shutdown Corner, we hope Johnson’s family and friends can make it through this difficult time.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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