EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The game ball went to Isaiah Pead.
Pead, who spent the previous four years as a backup running back for the Rams in St. Louis, is in critical condition after being involved in a single-car accident in Columbus, Ohio, over the weekend. Pead was in the hearts and minds of several of his former teammates during Sunday's 9-6 win over the New York Jets, and Los Angeles Rams coach Jeff Fisher planned to send a game ball to his family.
"I spoke with his mom yesterday," Fisher said before he left the podium. "He's struggling, and he's going to have a tough road. We're hoping that he'll come through this, but his career is over and he was an outstanding young man while we had him. I want to make sure their family knows we care about them."
Pead was a second-round draft pick of the Rams in 2012 out of Cincinnati and spent his first four years with them, appearing in 25 games from 2012-13 before tearing his ACL. He appeared in three games for the Miami Dolphins earlier this season and had recently worked out for the Kansas City Chiefs.
The 26-year-old lost control of his vehicle at approximately 2:32 a.m. Saturday morning and drove off the side of Interstate 670, the Columbus Division of Police told NBC4. Pead's car went through a guardrail and down an embankment, striking several trees along the way. He was ejected from the vehicle while a passenger, 27-year-old Wesley Richardson, was in stable condition, according to NBC4.
Benny Cunningham, in his fourth year as a running back for the Rams, said Pead "was on my mind all day. I probably prayed for him four or five times."
"We definitely talked about him during the game," Gurley said. "He's in our heart. Him and his girlfriend, who was in the accident. Just his whole family. He was a part of us last year. Just don't take this game for granted. It's definitely a blessing. There's definitely more to life than football. You can be here one day and gone tomorrow, so we definitely want to treat this game like it was our last."