Emotional RB White reflects on father's influence

11:56 PM ET

New England Patriots running back James White reflected emotionally on the influence his late father, Tyrone, had on him following Monday night’s 26-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and said the health of his mother, Lisa, is improving.

Tyrone White was killed in a car accident in Florida on Sept. 20, a few hours before the Patriots were scheduled to play against the Seattle Seahawks. Lisa White was a passenger in the car and had been hospitalized.

“My mom is continuing to improve and progress, so that eases my mind a little bit. Being on the football field kind of eases my mind a little bit, too,” White said Monday night, in his first interview since returning to the Patriots last week. “I’m just trying to push through, because that’s what my dad would want me to do.”

White, who missed two games, received an outpouring of support from around the NFL. He said Monday night that it helped lift his spirits in what has been a “surreal” situation.

Tears filled his eyes as he discussed what his dad has meant to his football career.

“He’s one of the biggest reasons I play football. Knowing

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