Tevin Chris Jones was riding his motorcycle on Route 672 in Westmoreland County in northeast Virginia on Saturday night when he ran off the right side of the roadway and struck a utility pole, according to Virginia State Police.
Jones was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was wearing a helmet, and alcohol was not a factor. The accident is under investigation.
Smith was notified at the Ravens' hotel on Sunday shortly after 1 a.m. ET and, accompanied by a member of the Ravens' security staff, left immediately to be with his family.
Smith returned to the Ravens late Sunday afternoon, participated in warm-up drills and started the game.
"It was tough. I didn't know until 4 o'clock if I was going to play," Smith said. "I only had like an hour of sleep. Emotionally, I didn't know how I was going to hold up."
In the second quarter, he caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to cut New England's lead to 13-7.
With 4 minutes to play in the game, Smith caught a 5-yard TD pass to bring the Ravens within two points. Baltimore went on to kick a field goal in the final seconds and won 31-30.
He finished with six catches for 127 yards.
"It means a lot not just for us but for my family. ... That's for my little brother," Smith said.
Before the game, a moment of silence was observed for Jones, whose picture was placed on the replay screens at the stadium. The Ravens also asked the fans to observe a moment of silence for former NFL Films president Steve Sabol.
"If you're around athletics, I guess you feel like it's an escape, an opportunity to do what (Smith) does," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after Sunday's win. "He's been doing it his whole life; he knows what to do. When Torrey said he wanted to play, the decision was finished. He was going to get the opportunity to play, he deserved that."
"When I came here, the more I was grounded. The more comfortable I began to feel," Smith said. "I'm glad I came back up here. It helped me out a lot."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.