James White made his return to the field on Monday for the Patriots after missing the previous two games following the loss of his father. Tyrone White was killed in a car accident in Florida on Sunday, Sept. 20, just hours before New England's matchup with the Seahawks in Seattle. White was inactive for that game along with last week's matchup with the Raiders as he and his family dealt with the tragic loss.
While White was able to play and play well in Monday's loss to the Chiefs, catching seven passes for 38 yards and rushing for 21 more yards, his postgame comments showed that he was very much playing with a heavy heart. The veteran back was emotional speaking on the loss of his father, who he said was a key reason why he began playing football and ultimately made it to the NFL.
"He meant a whole lot," said White. "He's one of the biggest reasons why I play football -- being a little kid, seeing my brother play, knowing that my dad played football. That kind of motivated me to go out there and play football. My dad, he was a coach for me growing up. Obviously, it was not always fun having your dad be your coach, but he pushed me and made me who I am today.
"I miss getting those texts that he usually sent me on Saturday nights before games ... just the simple texts he would send to get me prepared for the games. I kind of look back at the last text I got on Saturday before the Seahawks game and kind of reminisce on that, but he meant everything for me. He pushed me. Wouldn't always tell me what I wanted to hear, but he just always wanted me to do the right thing and push myself and be the best I can be."
White's mother, Lisa, was also involved in the accident and had been in critical condition. White noted on Monday after the game that she is improving steadily.
"All that stuff seems kind of surreal to me," he told reporters. "My mom is continuing to improve and progress and get better so that eases some of it a little bit -- just trying to push through. That's what my Dad would want me to do. Just trying to take it one day at a time."