Chris Smith to play Monday night following death of girlfriend

Browns defensive end will, “play for her tonight. She is my why.”

Daryl Ruiter
September 16, 2019 - 1:39 pm

Cleveland, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Browns defensive end Chris Smith has decided to play Monday night against the Jets following the tragic death of his girlfriend and the mother of their one-month old daughter last week.

Not only will Smith play, he’s been named a team captain for the contest.

“I am going to play tonight because it is something, she would want me to do,” Smith said in a statement released by his spokesperson. “She would want me to keep doing what I love and stay strong. I play for her tonight. She is my why.”

Smith returned to practice on Saturday and traveled to New York three days after 26-year old Petara Cordero was struck by an oncoming car and killed. The couple had just spun out and hit the median wall as a result of a tire blowing out as Smith drove westbound on Interstate 90 near the West 140th exit. 

Smith and Cordero were initially unharmed following the spin out but the couple got out of the car and stood on the shoulder when a car driven by a 47-year old woman, who according to Cleveland police admitted to drinking earlier in the night, veered right and hit the open passenger side door before striking Cordero.

Police continue to investigate both accidents.

Smith’s spokesperson expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support but requested “complete privacy” as the families continue to grieve the loss of Cordero.