Smith's girlfriend, Petara Cordero, was killed in a car accident Wednesday morning in Cleveland. Cordero, 26, and Smith had a daughter together last month.
"I am going to play tonight because it is something she would want me to do," Smith said in a statement. "She would want me to keep doing what I love and stay strong. I play for her tonight. She is my why."
Cordero and Smith were pulled over on the side of a highway in Cleveland after Smith's car had a tire malfunction, causing the vehicle to spin and hit the median, according to the team.
After Cordero exited the car without any major injuries, she was struck by an oncoming vehicle. According to a Cleveland police report obtained by the team, she was transported to Fairview Hospital and pronounced dead.
"Words cannot describe the sorrow we feel for Chris following the loss of his girlfriend, Petara," Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. "Our entire organization mourns with Chris, his family and the Cordero family. We will do everything possible to offer them our support, comfort and any resources in this most difficult time."
Police said Smith, who was driving the vehicle, wasn't impaired or injured. The other driver that struck Cordero admitted to drinking.