Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. is mourning the loss of his youngest son, 6-month-old Marlo.
In a heartbreaking Instagram post, Jones shared the news with his followers on Saturday.
“Yesterday the Lord called home a piece of my family’s heart, Marlo,” he wrote. “It is hard to believe that our little angel, our fighter from day one, our son ‘Marlito’ has unfortunately passed away and is no longer here with us.”
Jones continued the caption, adding, “Marlo, the joy that you brought to us every day, with that smile, and that energy was like heaven on earth.”
The Detroit Lions released a statement shortly after Jones shared the tragic news to show their support for the family, writing, “Earlier today, we were informed by Marvin and Jazmyn Jones about the sudden passing of their youngest son, Marlo.”
“Marvin and Jazmyn embody the true meaning of family and the example they set has made them an inspiration to so many in our community," the statement continued. "We thank everyone for the outpouring of support.”
The Jones family has asked for privacy at this time in order to properly grieve. Marvin will remain on injured reserve after an ankle injury earlier this month, according to ESPN, and will not play in Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.
Marlo was the youngest of five children in the Jones family. The couple has three older sons, Marvin III, Mareon and Murrell and a daughter, Mya.
“You will always be in our hearts,” Jones continued the caption underneath a smiling photo of Marlo. “We will always remember you. We did not get the chance to hear your first words (It would’ve been in Spanish too). We didn’t get to see you run with your brothers and sister, you ran with them with your eyes every day. We know that everything that we do from here on out will be with you. Every step we take, you will be with us.”
There was an outpouring of love and support in the comments section from fellow NFL players, their families and other athletes.
“Whenever we have a bad day, We will think of your smile,” Jones ended the caption of his Instagram post. “We miss you already buddy and will forever love you. Rest peacefully our sweet baby boy. You have gained your wings.”