While his teammates were celebrating their victory in Super Bowl LVI, Van Jefferson was busy leaving SoFi Stadium as quickly as possible. Fresh off his first ever championship, the Los Angeles Rams wide receiver sprinted off the field and through he locker room, grabbed his 5-year-old daughter along the way, and rushed to a nearby hospital.
His wife, Samaria, had gone into labor during the game. She herself left the stadium on a stretcher just a few hours before her husband would be able to join her.
The family eventually reunited, with Jefferson later taking to Instagram to share a photo of himself holding his yet-to-be-named son:
“It was a great day, bro,” Jefferson said on Instagram Live. “I got three prizes today: my wife, my son, and the Super Bowl.”
Despite being in the 40th week of her pregnancy, Samaria attending the game was never in question. As she told The Athletic last week, she would try to stay calm and pray for her water not to break.
Her water did indeed break, but neither Jefferson’s family nor the Rams’ support staff were allowed to tell Jefferson during the game — per strict instructions from Samaria.
“He is going to play. He is going to keep playing,” she said. “I said, ‘You play, I’ll see you at the hospital afterwards.’ That’s what it is. I will never take that moment away from him. … Knowing Van and how he is so caring, he just worries so much about me and the kids. … If I did tell him or someone told him during the game, he would come off that field. We’re saying, ‘Hey, you go play. We’ll see you after.’”
Oblivious to what was going on off the field, the second-year receiver ended the contest with four receptions for 23 yards. The Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals with a final score of 23-20.