Redskins fourth-year running back Chris Thompson learned that his brother got out of prison just hours before scoring his first career rushing touchdown.
Chris Thompson capped of an emotional day for his family with a touchdown run, the first time his brother could see him play in a football game in 15 years.
Before Thompson and his teammates took the field for their Week 1 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football, the 25-year-old received news that his brother was getting out of prison after a 15-year stay.
"The only contact I had with him was, the last time I visited him I think I was in high school," Thompson said. "Maybe a freshman in high school because he was locked up in the town that I grew up in so I was able to see him, but since that moment just a few letters here and there. I found out from my oldest sister a couple days ago that he was getting out. I knew he was getting out this month, but she told me it was going to be Monday so I'm like, 'Man, that's just added motivation and excitement for me because he's always been behind bars since I've been playing ball.'"
Thompson's brother kept up with his progress from high school through Florida State and then to the Redskins through the exchanging of letters.
"It was just normal stuff, him telling me what he's up to and how he had been keeping up with me and everything, although he's been locked up," Thompson said. "That in itself means a lot. And my older sister would talk to him on the phone a lot and just communicate their conversations to me and we kind of communicated that way, too. It was just a good feeling for me today."
While the Redskins struggled to get the run game going against the Steelers, managing just 55 yards on the ground, Thompson was able to punch in a one-yard carry for the first rushing touchdown of his career in the fourth quarter of Washington's 38-16 loss to Pittsburgh.
After Vernon Davis' first reception with the Redskins got Washington to the one-yard line, Thompson was able to take advantage of superb blocking by the offensive line, coupled with a feeble tackle attempt by Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons, for the score.
"It felt good," Thompson said. "Would have been even better if we had won, but a good feeling to finally get my first career rushing touchdown out of the way, so hopefully many more to come."
It was the first time his brother would be able to see him score, too.
"It was just a good feeling for me to know that he was sitting at home somewhere and just able to watch the game," Thompson said. "And watch me play and not be behind bars and hearing it on the radio or whatever."
"Good feeling, man."