DC Defenders wide receiver, Eli Rogers, is playing through the pain.
Rogers took the field for the Defenders game against the New York Guardians Saturday. Per the ABC broadcasters, the wide receiver chose to play in the game rather than attend his mother's funeral. It was clear that Rogers was playing with some extra passion. He started off the game by catching three passes for 50 yards on the opening drive.
After the game, Rogers will reportedly head home to Miami, Florida to be with his family.
Rogers took to Twitter where he explained the motive behind his decision prior to kickoff.
"Today was one of the toughest decisions I had to make in my life. My Mother’s final service is today and I am not going to be there. After a long talk with God and her, I came to this conclusion... I know most people may think I am crazy. Selfish even," Rogers wrote.
"I know My Mother is proud of who I am today and the decision I chose today. Without Her sacrifice and humiliation, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It is because of her I was able to be in a position to chase my dreams. That is all she her wanted from me. I Love You Ma," he continued.
Rogers went undrafted in 2015 but found a home with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After an impressive rookie campaign, he was unable to build on this momentum and was cut from the team in 2018. The XFL has allowed the 27-year-old to prove that he's still a valuable asset as he's become the DC Defender's primary target.