As his longtime teammate put on a show, Stedman Bailey watched on television knowing his fight was paying off.
Tavon Austin had a huge night for the St. Louis Rams on Thursday with two touchdowns and 73 all-purpose yards in a 31-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Without a little inspiration from Bailey, Austin may not have been able to show out like he did.
On Nov. 25, Bailey was shot in the head in a car outside his home in Miami. Originally, his life was in question. His football career is still very much in jeopardy, but Bailey has survived and will be able to live a fruitful life.
Just two days ago, Bailey began jogging around the ground of his hospital in Florida.
"“He is getting his strength back and just taking it one day at a time,” Bailey’s agent Tony Fleming told TMZ Sports. “He is scheduled to be released out of the hospital on the 23rd. … The Rams are great. They have been talking to the doctors like once every few days staying on top of it.”"
Prior to Thursday’s game against the Bucs, Bailey sent a message to his Rams teammates.
Bailey had a Facetime session from his hospital bed to the Edward Jones Dome locker room. As Bailey spoke into a tablet, his face and sound was projected onto a big screen.
"“It was just awesome to see him,” linebacker James Laurinaitis said. “That was the first time seeing him since everything happened. He let us know that he’s been appreciative of all the prayers and everything.“He just wanted to let us know he was appreciative and wanted us to go out here and kick some tail. It was awesome to see him. He let us know he’s rehabbing, jogging up and down the halls and stuff. It was really uplifting to the guys to be able to see him. You hear so much, but to be able to actually hear his voice and see him smile, I’m not sure words can be put to the emotion in that room.”"
Then, the Rams still had a game to play. Already an emotional night, as it potentially could have been the final game played in St. Louis, as team owners have threatened to move the team to Los Angeles, the Rams delivered a treat to the fans in attendance and to Bailey back home.
Ala Gerry Bertier in Remember The Titans, Bailey had a moment he’ll never forget during one of the most trying times in his life.
After Austin scored each touchdown, he flashed a “1” and “2” signifying Bailey’s No. 12 jersey. The tandem has been friends for more than six years, playing together for the Rams the past three years and spending three other years together as teammates at West Virginia.