The Chicago Bears signed Marquise Goodwin this past week. Their hopes for him are obvious. That he can become a valued member of their passing game. The 30-year old wide receiver hasn’t played since 2019, but he’s healthy and still among the fastest at his position in the NFL. If he can stay on the field, the Bears’ offense will be considerably more explosive than it was last season.
Yet amidst this kind of business decision, it’s always important to remember that these are people. Human beings with stories to tell. When it comes to Goodwin? His is certainly more harrowing than others. His father went to prison for a crime he didn’t commit and is now homeless and suffering from mental illness. His sister suffers from cerebral palsy and he’s been her de factor father since they were young. Yet all of that pales in comparison to what happened to him in 2017.
The day he lost his child.
This was the second time Goodwin and his wife had lost a baby. The first time it had happened eight weeks into the pregnancy. This time was so much more traumatic since the baby was nearing the right time to be born. To lose it like that was utterly tragic. Nobody would’ve blamed him for skipping the game that week. So it was an obvious surprise when he decided to give it a go.
What happened next was storybook stuff. Remember this. The 49ers were in the midst of a rough season. They were 0-9 going into that game against the New York Giants. Their starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo wasn’t ready to play. Other parts of the roster were decimated by injuries. The team needed a spark. Midway through the 2nd quarter and trailing 6-3, Goodwin provided one.
Marquise Goodwin turned the entire season around with that play
San Francisco racked up 31 points that day to claim their first victory of the season. They would go 5-1 down the stretch to finish 6-10. The first indication the team was pointed in the right direction. Goodwin was a huge part of it, compiling 545 yards over that seven-game stretch. To think he did that just hours after losing his son to premature childbirth is incredible. A sign of his mental toughness.
That is the kind of player and person the Bears are getting. It isn’t hard to see why the team signed him. Talented, mature, and unselfish. All the traits they seek in their players. It feels like Marquise Goodwin the player still has a lot left to prove. Injuries slowed him in 2018 and 2019 and then the pandemic forced him to opt out due to concerns about his family.
Some believe he might be a one-year wonder.
He certainly made a bold choice coming to Chicago. Then again if he reignites his career here, then that’ll certainly silence a lot of his doubters. Andy Dalton might arguably be the best quarterback he’s ever had a chance to play with. Combine that with Allen Robinson and Darnell Mooney sharing the same field. He could see a lot of single coverage this season. With that kind of speed, it’s a recipe for big plays.